A rallying call for Welsh rugby to work together to build on the success of the past year and take on the challenges ahead has been delivered by the WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis at the union’s Annual General Meeting.
Hundreds of delegates from the 241 WRU clubs gathered at the Princess Royal Theatre in Port Talbot for the meeting last week to review the past year on and off the field.
Roger Lewis said:”We produced a great set of results for the past year, but there is always room for improvement and we cannot be complacent.
“Now we know we have a very strong foundation to build from and we are working together with common aims.
“It has been a great year for Welsh rugby and it has been very pleasing to be able to explain to the AGM that we have such a positive message to deliver.”
He told delegates how on the field the Wales 7’s had a remarkable season delivering world cup victory and the Welsh international women’s team had their best season for 22 years by winning the Triple Crown.
The senior international side beat Australia and played a positive brand of rugby throughout the RBS 6 Nations Championship to contest the competition right up to the last game.
Off the field the WRU recorded a turnover of more than £49m and was able to distribute record levels of funding into the game.
The Chief Executive explained how the new WRU National Centre of Excellence at the Vale Resort offers Wales some of the best facilities for international team training in the world game.
He also spoke of the record levels of funding distributed to the community game and stated that a commitment to grass roots rugby in Wales was now a clarion call for the WRU.
The Chief Executive also praised the range and volume of events held at the Millennium Stadium with Madonna even choosing to spend a week rehearsing at the venue before the start of her last live tour of Europe.
The WRU Chairman, David Pickering said the move towards an agreement to admit sevens rugby into the Olympics was a huge positive for rugby in Wales.
He said:”The introduction of sevens into the Olympics, if it is approved soon, will pay huge dividends in global terms for the game of rugby.”
He also spoke of the importance of the fourth Autumn international game to the Welsh game as a whole and the introduction of Friday night fixtures into the RBS 6 Nations.
He said:”The fourth rugby international is not just important to WRU finances, it is essential, but it is also essential that our international team plays the very best standard of opposition on a regular basis.”
Following the AGM SWALEC provided stocks of free energy efficient lightbulbs to all of the member clubs of the Welsh Rugby Union to encourage strategies of sustainability in communities across Wales.