STATE OF THE NA­TION

Wales On Sunday - - SPORT - MATTHEW SOUTHCOMBE Rugby Writer matthew.southcombe@waleson­line.co.uk

THE prob­lems fac­ing grass­roots rugby in Wales are laid bare to­day in a Wales on Sun­day in­ves­ti­ga­tion. We have can­vassed the views of club of­fi­cials right at the heart of the com­mu­nity – at all lev­els – to hear what they have to say about the re­al­ity of their sit­u­a­tions.

Among those in­volved in our in­ves­ti­ga­tion were rep­re­sen­ta­tives in north, south, east and west Wales.

The hours of in­ter­views over the last fort­night make for com­pelling read­ing about the real is­sues af­fect­ing rugby across Wales.

Among the con­cerns raised by the clubs were:

Dwin­dling in­ter­est and a lack of ac­tive play­ers is leav­ing clubs in ‘free fall’.

Claims that teams as far down as Di­vi­sion 3 were lur­ing play­ers from other clubs with cash of­fers.

There are now not enough play­ers to sus­tain the num­ber of clubs that ex­ist in Wales.

It’s the most in-depth in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the state of our na­tional game and you can read it in full on pages 8&9 of the Sport Pull­out to­day.

Pe­narth and Pon­ty­clun get their half-time pep talks dur­ing their Di­vi­sion Three East Cen­tral A clash yes­ter­day PIC­TURE: Peter Bolter

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