Wales coach Wayne Pivac urges Welsh rugby bosses to seriously consider liquidating one region

As he stared at the wreckage of Welsh rugby around him and remembered the devastating six nations of his team, Wayne Pivac made a reflective number on Wednesday.

After all, there was a lot to talk about.

Among the many topics covered by his selection of the 33-man squad to face South Africa this summer, Pivac’s admission that Wales should seriously consider reducing the number of professional teams in the country from four to three was one of the most relevant.

Wales coach Wayne Pivac is under pressure following the defeat of the Six Nations

Wales coach Wayne Pivac is under pressure following the defeat of the Six Nations

TEST SERIES

July 2

First test

South Africa v. Wales

Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

KO 16/05, live on Sky Sports

July 9

Second test

South Africa v. Wales

Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein

KO 16/05, live on Sky Sports

July 16

Third test

South Africa v. Wales

DHL Stadium, Cape Town

KO 16/05, live on Sky Sports

Such a proposal was made and is being debated by the Professional Rugby Council of Wales, as financial problems and poor performance on the pitch continue to hinder the country’s national game. Doing so is policy-driven and, in fact, unlikely.

This would also drastically reduce the pool of talent available to Pivac given the Welsh Rugby Union 60-cap rule, meaning players who don’t have that many test appearances must play for the Welsh team to perform at an international level.

Interestingly, Pivac has suggested that there are many people in the four regions that he believes will never be cut down to get to the top.

“If you look at the teams that dominated the club scene and you look at their national teams, they are all equal. I think it’s very important that we get that level, ”said Pivac.

– It definitely helps the national team. We’ve probably been in silos for a very long time. Warren Gatland used to talk to me about it, and I don’t think much has changed in the last eight years.

“The sooner we achieve full equalization and the sooner everyone works for the common good, there has to be something positive about it. I know there are a lot of people who have just kept their heads down trying to find the best possible solution for everyone who plays in Welsh Rugby. ”

So, would Pivac support the elimination of one Welsh region?

“We need to take a serious look at how we are progressing at the club level and with some of our results at the international level,” said the New Zealander.

“I think they are doing a good thing by looking at it. It depends on how you rate the pool of players and how many you believe are capable of playing international rugby.

Wales finished fifth in the Six Nations and lost at home to Italy for the first time in their history

Wales finished fifth in the Six Nations and lost at home to Italy for the first time in their history

A proposal was made to reduce the number of professional teams in the country from four to three

A proposal was made to reduce the number of professional teams in the country from four to three

“Are we paying players who aren’t really at this level?”

Pivac’s comments were surprisingly sincere and, unfortunately for Welsh rugby, correct. Far too many average players in the country are now getting paid beyond their chances.

So much was shown in the Six Nations, when Wales finished fifth and lost at home to Italy for the first time in history. “The defeat of the Italians was certainly something that wasn’t in my thought process, to be honest, without sounding arrogant,” said Pivac. “This is a result that no one is proud of.

“We didn’t expect this and we have to take it on the chin.”

Pivac has rightly received a lot of criticism this year for its team’s struggles. Things won’t be easier with the three tests against the world champion Springbox in July.

Dan Biggar will be Captain of Wales in South Africa despite Alun Wyn Jones in the lineup

Dan Biggar will be Captain of Wales in South Africa despite Alun Wyn Jones in the lineup

Dan Biggar took over as captain for the great Alun Wyn Jones on tour with Jonathan Davies and Jac Morgan, surprising omissions at an event where key characters were robbed due to injury.

George North and Dan Lydiate return from prolonged knee problems.

Flank Leicester, Tommy Reffell, was rewarded for his great form with the Gallagher Premiership leaders in the first start, but this year’s Pivac selection seemed confused.

He warned the imposing Morgan that he needed to improve physically to win the selection despite second-team Ospreys being at the top of the charts for the United Rugby Championship.

“We have to stick to the plan we put in place until the World Cup until someone tells us otherwise, and that’s what we do at this stage,” Pivac said firmly.

Tommy Reffell (with the ball) was in good shape and scored his first call-up to Wales

Tommy Reffell (with the ball) was in good shape and scored his first call-up to Wales

Steve Phillips, CEO of the Welsh Rugby Union, said last month that “we’re all in this together” as he pushed for Pivac to take Wales to France in 2023.

It sounds likely, but a hammer strike in South Africa may still force Phillips to press the panic button, even though his tray is already full.

“We’re not losing sight of the bigger picture,” said Pivac, who also revealed that he had approached the new Englishman, Henry Arundell, about his interest in Welsh London back.

“The conversations I had with Steve were very, very positive and they were all about preparing the team for the World Cup.

“We spoke to Henry and so did Scotland, but he made it clear that he wanted to play for England. We will see what it will be like this summer. The door will remain open.

TEAM WALES FOR SOUTH AFRICA:

Forwards (19): Rhys Carre (Cardiff Rugby – 16 caps), Wyn Jones (Scarlets – 43 caps), Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 10 caps), Ryan Elias (Scarlets – 27 caps), Dewi Lake (Ospreys – 5 caps) , Sam Parry (Ospreys – 5 caps), Leon Brown (Dragons – 22 caps), Tomas Francis (Ospreys – 64 caps), Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Rugby – 38 caps), Adam Beard (Ospreys – 34 caps), Ben Carter ( Dragons – 6 capsules), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys – 150 capsules), Will Rowlands (Dragons – 18 capsules), Taine Basham (Dragons – 10 capsules), Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby – 89 capsules), Dan Lydiate (Ospreys – 65 caps), Josh Navidi (Cardiff Rugby – 30 caps), James Ratti (Cardiff Rugby – no hat), Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers – no hat)

Back (14): Gareth Davies (Scarlets – 67 caps), Kieran Hardy (Scarlets – 11 caps), Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 33 caps), Gareth Anscombe (Ospreys – 31 caps), Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints – 100 caps) – Captain), Rhys Patchell (Scarlets – 21 caps), George North (Ospreys – 102 caps), Nick Tompkins (Saracens – 20 caps), Owen Watkin (Ospreys – 31 caps), Johnny Williams (Scarlets – 5 caps, Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby – 39 caps), Alex Cuthbert (Ospreys – 51 caps), Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby – 16 caps), Liam Williams (Scarlets – 78 caps)

Players unavailable for selection due to injury: Ken Owens, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty, Christ Tshiunza, Aaron Wainwright, Uilisi Halaholo, Leigh Halfpenny, Johnny McNicholl

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