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Cardiff Statement on EDC inclusion

Pathway | 18th April 2024

Cardiff are delighted to be awarded the final place in Welsh rugby’s new Elite Domestic Competition (EDC).

The decision was announced by the Welsh Rugby Union this morning after the Blue and Blacks joined a second phase of the participation application process.

Cardiff were awarded the licence after a rigorous application process which also included a renewed application from Neath RFC.

Cardiff Rugby academy manager, Gruff Rees, who oversees the Cardiff RFC program was pleased with the outcome and is excited to continue developing talent through the club’s second team.

“We are delighted to be accepted into the Elite Domestic Competition and are really excited about being able to continue competing at the highest point of rugby within Wales,” said Rees.

“It was a rigorous process, in which Richard Holland and I put together a comprehensive bid covering rugby development, strategy and the club’s business plans, and I would like to thank everyone at the club who contributed to the process. 

“The EDC underpins the professional game whilst supporting the main purpose and objective of the league in providing high quality development opportunities to all those involved.    

“We have shown how successful Cardiff RFC has been in working closely with our academy in producing players for the senior game and we can now plan accordingly for our next cycle of work.

“We will announce further plans for Cardiff RFC in due course but would like to take this opportunity to extend our congratulations to the other nine successful clubs. 

“Our best wishes also go to Neath, who were unsuccessful in their application. They are a great club and like with Pontypridd and Merthyr, we would welcome any conversations around friendly fixtures.”

Twenty-two of the current first team squad have played for Cardiff RFC, while 13 of these players have represented Wales including Alex Mann, Cameron Winnett, Evan Lloyd and Mackenzie Martin who are all recent graduates.

Cardiff scored particularly well in areas including their supportive relationship with their professional club (Cardiff Rugby), the role they have played in developing players for both regional and international rugby in the last five years, their rugby plan, the size of the community they serve, and their associated geographical position.

An expert panel, which included two independent members considered the applications, consisting of Club Business Plans, Rugby Performance Plans, and other key data.

Applications were evaluated against the following five criteria: Organisational Due Diligence, Rugby Development, Growth Potential, Unique Selling Point and Public Interest.

The ten licenses are granted for an initial three-year term and the new EDC will now sit under the governance of the Professional Rugby Board, boasting a season structure aligned to the professional game, with clubs officially partnered with professional regions.