The twelve participating clubs of the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) National Championship division have formed a collaborative working organisation called Championship Rugby Wales (CRW).
CRW has been designed to provide a platform for National Championship clubs to collaborate with the WRU more effectively to ensure that the long-term interests of the National Championship division are safeguarded. The twelve member clubs of CRW include; Beddau, Bedlinog, Cardiff Met, Dunvant, Glamorgan Wanderers, Glynneath, Narberth, Newbridge, Newcastle Emlyn, Pontypool, Skewen and TATA Steel.
Pontypool RFC chief executive officer, Ben Jeffreys, has been elected by the National Championship clubs to serve as CRW’s inaugural chairman.
On the organisation’s formation, he said: “The National Championship is home to twelve exceptionally ambitious clubs with equally driven administrators, staff, coaches, players and volunteers – all of whom have many fantastic ideas that can inject further positivity into the division.
“CRW serves as the arena that brings these ideas to life and ensures that the strategic focus of the National Championship continues to evolve to form a clearly defined position within the wider Welsh rugby pyramid.
“The National Championship can no doubt continue to grow from strength-to-strength and CRW’s positive collaborative partnership with the WRU is already demonstrating that very real progress is being made.
“There is a shared acceptance of the responsibility between both parties to enhance the supporter experience and to ensure that more people are presented with the opportunity to engage with Welsh club rugby on a regular basis.
“I am hugely honoured to have been elected as the chairman of CRW and I am equally excited about the productivity that both parties can generate for the National Championship in the seasons ahead.”
WRU Group Chief Executive Martyn Phillips said: “CRW is an innovative development and the WRU’s support for the initiative is representative of our desire to advance Welsh club rugby to even greater heights.
“Club rugby is of huge importance to the cultural fabric of the game in Wales and this partnership presents a real opportunity to enhance the division’s standing.
“We have a publicised strategy for Welsh rugby and we are now on the verge of signing off detailed plans for community rugby in Wales under the leadership of Ryan Jones. We will be relentless in our execution of these plans but also recognise that we must inspire and encourage more local ownership to deliver a healthy future for rugby.
“CRW is a prime example of the invaluable contribution that can be made when a committed group take responsibility for owning and shaping their own future. We can only applaud and encourage this approach.
“This progressive relationship with CRW will undoubtedly help us in our quest to safeguard the future sustainability of these historic clubs.”