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New Blues' Region Is Announced

7th July 2004

A new region for the Blues, incorporating South Powys, Merthyr, Rhondda Cynon Taf, the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Unitary Authorities, has been announced.

The region will extend up to Builth Wells and Llandrindod Wells in Powys and Penarth and Barry in the south.

Announcing the new regional structure today, the Welsh Rugby Union's Steve Lewis was accompanied by Blues' chief executive Robert Norster and his Ospreys' counterpart, Andrew Donald.

Within the Blues' region will be 56 clubs including three Premier Division clubs - Cardiff, Llanharan and Pontypridd - plus 67 secondary schools. All of them will be part of a structure that encompasses a player development pathway from under12-15s district teams, regional and national under 16s schools, regional squads of under 18s and under 20s, and finally national squads at under 18s, 19s and 21s before reaching the semi-professional and professional tiers.

All regional development and competition will be based on the four regional set-ups with the exception being the under-16 age group where the Blues will be split into two development areas, Blues North (South Powys, Merthyr and RCT) and Blues South (Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan).

Welcoming the new structure Robert Norster said, "Obviously this marks a significant change in Welsh rugby and we all have to work hard to capture the hearts and minds of everyone who wants Welsh rugby to regain its pre-eminent position in the game. Time is not on our side but we have been in touch with several areas of our region already and there is more to come. Last weekend, for instance, we held e very successful academy coaching session and that is typical of the way we are moving things forward and involving as many people as possible."

Also included in the Blues' region are Division One clubs UWIC, Glamorgan Wanderers, Beddau and Builth Wells and from Division Two East the region's clubs are Rumney, Treorchy, Llantwit Fardre, Abercynon, Hirwaun, Llantrisant, Ystrad Rhondda and Treherbert.

The structure stretches as far as Division Five East (St Albans, Cefn Coed and Gwernyfed) and Five South East (Canton, St Josephs, Old Penarthians, Rhiwbina, Cilfynydd, Porth and Ferndale).