WRU denies ‘ignoring’ safety in Pontypool RFC court battle

THE Welsh Rugby Union denied "abdicating responsibility" for safety at grounds in its plans to relegate one of its most famous clubs.

Pontypool RFC is fighting at the High Court to overturn the WRU's decision to axe it from the top league in a major restructuring of the game.

Lawyers for the club accused the Union of "ignoring" safety issues in its choice of clubs to go forward and play in a newly constituted 12-team Premiership.

But the WRU yesterday denied the accusation, saying it is down to the clubs and local councils to make sure rugby grounds are safe for spectators.

"This is not the WRU's responsibility," said Adam Lewis QC. "This is the responsibility of the local authorities under the legislation. The role which the WRU is being said to have here just simply does not exist."

Earlier this week, the court heard that part of the selection process for the new division was based on whether clubs had A Licences for their grounds.

That meant having covered hard-standing for 1,000 spectators, but should be based on safety as well as capacity considerations, said the club's barrister, Ian Rogers.

However, the WRU's reference to the so-called Green Guide on safe capacity was "selective at best", he said.

Had the WRU properly applied the criteria in assessing clubs' grounds, three clubs could not have obtained the A Licences they needed to get into the Premiership, he argued.

Judgment in the case is expected to be reserved until a later date by the judge.

Comments (9)

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5:34pm Wed 27 Jun 12

gwyn wills says...

Pooler finished 12th out of 14. They met the criteria to obtain a class A licence. Two west Wales clubs were given a free pass by the WRU.Surely it is game over for the WRU.
Pooler finished 12th out of 14. They met the criteria to obtain a class A licence. Two west Wales clubs were given a free pass by the WRU.Surely it is game over for the WRU. gwyn wills

6:32pm Wed 27 Jun 12

big grog says...

If only the law was as simple as natural justice and common sense then yes the WRU wouldn't stand a cats chance of defending their position!..........b
ut, sometimes the law is an **** as they say! I'm hoping the judge is a sporting fellow and will side with the fan and agree that the WRU as a governing body has abused it's power to arrive at a pre- determined situation which excludes Pooler.
If only the law was as simple as natural justice and common sense then yes the WRU wouldn't stand a cats chance of defending their position!..........b ut, sometimes the law is an **** as they say! I'm hoping the judge is a sporting fellow and will side with the fan and agree that the WRU as a governing body has abused it's power to arrive at a pre- determined situation which excludes Pooler. big grog

6:46pm Wed 27 Jun 12

gwyn wills says...

Totally agree with you.Let us hope that this judge has some common sense. I still cannot believe that the WRU has tried to defend the totally indefensible.Without doubt they decided the outcome they wanted and set the criterion to match and when the result was not what they wanted changed their position again.
Totally agree with you.Let us hope that this judge has some common sense. I still cannot believe that the WRU has tried to defend the totally indefensible.Without doubt they decided the outcome they wanted and set the criterion to match and when the result was not what they wanted changed their position again. gwyn wills

6:46pm Wed 27 Jun 12

gwyn wills says...

Totally agree with you.Let us hope that this judge has some common sense. I still cannot believe that the WRU has tried to defend the totally indefensible.Without doubt they decided the outcome they wanted and set the criterion to match and when the result was not what they wanted changed their position again.
Totally agree with you.Let us hope that this judge has some common sense. I still cannot believe that the WRU has tried to defend the totally indefensible.Without doubt they decided the outcome they wanted and set the criterion to match and when the result was not what they wanted changed their position again. gwyn wills

7:26pm Wed 27 Jun 12

Robert Shillabeer says...

I am a Gwent rugby supporter, but I have looked at the split of Premiership clubs throughout South Wales and it is three for each region. The original Premiership of ten would have left the Scarlets and the Ospreys w
I am a Gwent rugby supporter, but I have looked at the split of Premiership clubs throughout South Wales and it is three for each region. The original Premiership of ten would have left the Scarlets and the Ospreys w Robert Shillabeer

8:18pm Wed 27 Jun 12

Pigeon1 says...

On the question of regions why has Bedwas been alligned with Dragons when it always has been more logical to link the club with the Blues? But hey we are talking about the WRU - they always amaze and are so consistent in all that they do dare we question? In think from the court action that not clubs are obliged to accept whatever they decree. Well that is unless they decide they want to change the "rules" as they see fit.
On the question of regions why has Bedwas been alligned with Dragons when it always has been more logical to link the club with the Blues? But hey we are talking about the WRU - they always amaze and are so consistent in all that they do dare we question? In think from the court action that not clubs are obliged to accept whatever they decree. Well that is unless they decide they want to change the "rules" as they see fit. Pigeon1

7:40pm Thu 28 Jun 12

Cymro57 says...

Bedwas is logically aligned with the Dragons. The village is historically in Monmouthshire, many still use a Newport Gwent postal address, and the club played in the Monmouthshire League until the advent of National Leagues in 1990/91. Bedwas players always played for Monmouthshire. No connection with Cardiff or the Blues whatsoever I'm afraid.
Bedwas is logically aligned with the Dragons. The village is historically in Monmouthshire, many still use a Newport Gwent postal address, and the club played in the Monmouthshire League until the advent of National Leagues in 1990/91. Bedwas players always played for Monmouthshire. No connection with Cardiff or the Blues whatsoever I'm afraid. Cymro57

9:12pm Thu 28 Jun 12

CM1 says...

Bedwas has as much to do with Gwent as Caerphilly.
Bedwas has as much to do with Gwent as Caerphilly. CM1

9:36pm Sun 8 Jul 12

adrian simmonds says...

The WRU's behaviour is illogical, totally immoral and indefensible. It's worse than the way the FAW treated County, Colwyn Bay etc way back. I don't know how they have the effrontery to behave like this but of course the legal bills will be shared among all the themselves whereas the loons in charge of the WRU should be forced to pay out of their own pockets for this vicious vendetta against Ponty.
The WRU's behaviour is illogical, totally immoral and indefensible. It's worse than the way the FAW treated County, Colwyn Bay etc way back. I don't know how they have the effrontery to behave like this but of course the legal bills will be shared among all the themselves whereas the loons in charge of the WRU should be forced to pay out of their own pockets for this vicious vendetta against Ponty. adrian simmonds

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