Richard Hibbard

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Richard Hibbard

Post by dancarreg on Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:22 pm

Looks about to join the exodus!!!!

OK, now has to be the time to look to the future and ask [color=#FF0000]DO THE REGIONS HAVE ONE?

Using a reasonable estimate, it's looking ever more likely that at least 8 current internationals will be off at the end of this season.
Hibbard is one such case, still under contract for one more year, he's off. But who may join him?
AWJ, Adam Jones, Alex Cuthbert, Tipuric, Rhys Priestland and Dan Biggar `are just some of those being bandied about with others less well known already being targeted, two by an Irish team!

Now I'm well aware that most on this and other forums, are really locked into Team Wales, I'm not knocking that. But year after year, I've sat in a draughty, cold and empty stadium, watching with hope that my region will do something magic. My money has in turn paid for the players to stay here, play for the team and Wales while also funding, in part, the burgeoning academy enabling that to carry on producing many wonderful players who now represent our country.

The question I'm posing is this. If the best players are now going to be playing outside of Wales, how will that suit Gatland? How will the best players get to play for Wales when their clubs will want them to play for them, George North is having some difficulties in that area right now. What effect will it have on youngsters who will rarely get to see their heroes, will they be more inclined to turn to football and Premier Division?

And without those "stars" playing regularly here in Wales, how much longer will the regions be able to carry on?
Will fans still turn out on wet, cold nights to see sub standard fare on a regular basis?
Not this one, uncertain about whether to renew I have to say that now my mind is made up and I will no longer be a supporter of any region and will watch my rugby on TV for as long as it lasts.

And for those who only do that now or for whom Wales are the be all and end all, I hope you still have something to cheer in the years to come..............but I seriously have my doubts.
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Re: Richard Hibbard

Post by Evans the nine on Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:40 pm

I agree with you wholehartedly, it is very concerning that the welsh regions just can't compete in this kind of market.

The French league is looking like it could become the Super 14 of the Northern Hemisphere and they will have all the superstars.

It's hard to be optimistic about the regions future and ability to hold onto the big names, as there is a define conflict of interest between them and the WRU and whilst they remain in private ownership that will continue.

According to the article below Kingsley Jones has just accepted that this is they future and just to get on with it.

http://www.espn.co.uk/scrum/rugby/story/208135.html

The article also has a twitter feed that says Rhys Priestland is on his way to Wasps too (maybe he will be better appreciated there anyway).

Does this all affect the likely outcomes for Team Wales... IMHO probably not as Paris is a fairly short flight away from the Vale, but it does mean a significant dip in the quality available to the regions (or any future successors).

On the plus side though more opportunity for the likes of Matthew Morgan, Sam Davies, Owen Williams and all the other young emerging talent to get regular game time and develop.
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Re: Richard Hibbard

Post by dancarreg on Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:57 am

Preistalnd is almost certainly away, and he's not the only Scarlet.
With a host of blues and Ospreys players leaving BEFORE their contracts end, the future for the regions is looking dimmer day by day.
Losing the big stars will NOT draw fans into watch or players to play, and ultimately we will see the Welsh game revert to purely club rugby OR whither and die.
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Re: Richard Hibbard

Post by dancarreg on Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:21 am

Dr Gwyn Jones can also see the end of regional rugby, but he can't see the end of rugby here in Wales, and it's there that we differ.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/25239658
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Re: Richard Hibbard

Post by dancarreg on Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:54 pm

Now it's becoming really serious.......looks like the end of the "REGIONS" is now in sight.
Welcome back Cardiff, Newport, Llanelli and errrrr?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/25255119
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Re: Richard Hibbard

Post by JOHNTYWYN on Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:01 pm

You know my feelings about Regional rugby - It just has not worked in Wales. In Scotland, Ireland and Italy Regional rugby rescued the dying clubs from extinction, and Ireland are now a better rugby nation for it. As for their spectators intrusions into Italy and Scotland by Welsh and Irish teams has improved their entertainment. In Wales it was a different situation, Regional rugby destroyed the clubs; Aberavon, Bridgend, Cardiff, Newport and Pontypool to name only a few. If the Regions are disbanded, and W R U funding increases for what is now Premiership sides I am sure spectators will return to the cold wet terraces of our towns and cities. There will always be an incentive to go and watch a local derby, or an east west encounter, and if there is no regional rugby, these incentives will be enhanced by the fact that these games are not in effect 2nd XV games. If our star men are playing out of Wales well that is sad, and it will be up to the W.R.U. to entice them to stay; but I really think the Club scene could improve rugby as a live spectator sport, cheaper entrance fees, and cheaper season tickets; and the possibility of being able to support your team not only at home, but also away.

As a side line, I watched Worcester lose yet again last night to Biaritz . But it was a superb game full of open rugby and great ball handling. I doubt whether tonights entertainment will come anywhere near to matching it.
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Re: Richard Hibbard

Post by dancarreg on Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:09 am

Got to say JOHNTYWYN the WRU are about to slash funding for the regions, they've already persuaded several players NOT to sign contract extensions and are trying to influence many more.
The obvious outcome is either, the regions without any real source of income will call it a day, or try to "go it alone" with a tempting invite from the English.
That route in itself is fraught with dangers, the English will only offer a one year free of relegation. Were the four regions to accept that offer then it could be that some could end up poor and relegated. Additionally, part of the English deal, as i understand it, could also include a clause that COULD mean that young uncapped Welsh qualified players are automatically qualified for England!
Of course if, as is likely, the WRU get their way it will mean 4 regions, 3 south Wales based and one based in north Wales, they will decide locations and names, leasing the franchise over a four/five year deal.
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Re: Richard Hibbard

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