Daily Mail



A REMARKABLE 2023 for Welsh rugby could be set for another twist with a merger between the Ospreys and Ealing being strongly considered by bosses. Championsh­ip side Ealing have been told they will not be promoted to the Gallagher Premiershi­p for the second straight year because they do not meet RFU criteria.

That has prompted a rethink at the London-based Trailfinde­rs, who have been exploring competing in the United Rugby Championsh­ip instead. Doing so and merging with Welsh region Ospreys would be complicate­d. But with the Welsh Rugby Union and their four profession­al sides — Dragons, Cardiff, Ospreys and Scarlets — hit by huge budget cuts, some believe one region may well have to go.

To that end, a merger of a Welsh side with Ealing would make sense, although doing so would be fraught with political tension. In 2019, Welsh chiefs proposed a merger between the Ospreys and Scarlets, but the idea caused outrage and was swiftly abandoned.

The WRU and the regions are yet to sign a new, six-year funding agreement. In light of that, the Ealing venture has been proposed and talks are ongoing.

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