POLITICS, politics -- when, if ever, will the rugby take over?

Pre-World Cup internationals against Ireland, England and Scotland are only weeks away.

And Gwent Dragons, launched only yesterday, are set to bring a new level of rugby to this particular area.

But as usual politics dominate. In Gwent the summer has been all about a battle for control, with Newport owner Tony Brown issuing WRU group chief executive David Moffett a 'back me or Marcus Russell' ultimatum.

The WRU board came down in favour of Russell because of the heavy Gwent perspective, Brown disappeared after four fruitful years with Newport, and then it became a row over the amount of rent Gwent Dragons must pay Newport for the use of Rodney Parade as their home base.

That was resolved late in the day, and yesterday's launch went ahead with Rodney Parade secured.

But don't bet that is the end of the matter. There is still seething resentment that the Newport name has been left out of the title, even more so after the retention of Neath and Swansea in their title, with the addition of the world Ospreys.

Why couldn't it have been Newport-Ebbw Vale Dragons is the question being asked by many.

The answer is this team is supposed to represent Gwent. But that forgets the fact that half the squad has been recruited from outside and that one area or team in Gwent doesn't get on with another, or in some cases they hate each other - so much for unity.

I am hounded on all sides, from Steve Hansen to new general manager Steve Lewis, the former Ebbw Vale scrum half, for my Newport bias and wish to secure their name in the title.

But why should I budge? It suits them to back Gwent, but what about Cardiff? what about Llanelli? They have retained their names, as have Swansea and Neath.

And what about alienating thousands of Newport fans who won't support the new region? Gwent could have kept Tony Brown on board and all those fans if they had called the side, for example, Newport-Ebbw Vale Dragons.

But they didn't, and I find all the answers to objections unconvincing to say the least.

Now Gwent faces a fight of their own making. They need to sell around 3,000 season tickets and they need to attract sponsors if they are to survive.

Without that money it's going to be a struggle because a major investor like Brown has washed his hands of the whole business, and the WRU haven't got any money while the banks will be reluctant to help out.

The plight of the WRU has been well illustrated yet again with new chairman David Pickering, amid a wringing-of-hands session on Sunday morning, giving a graphic account of the dire financial situation.

The debt on the stadium is £66m, the Union can't pay off any of the capital loan, the bank overdraft is up to £7.2m while the loss last year was over £3m.

Against that background Moffett and the board decided to cut the funding of the mass of WRU clubs by a quarter.

They rebelled and refused to accept the cuts, forcing Moffett to the brink of resignation, but instead vowing to fight on saying he won't respond to threats and he must be allowed to govern rather than face an egm every time the clubs decide they don't like some decision.

This one really is turning out to be a fight to the finish, for Moffett has basically turned it into a vote of confidence.

The board is expected to reconfirm the budget at a meeting a week Thursday, which will put it back in the hands of the clubs.

If they hold their line it could well come to a vote of no confidence initiated by West Wales clubs, and we could see Moffett and the board resigning en-bloc.

The Welsh Rugby Union and the whole of Welsh rugby will then be run by Llanelli Wanderers and Laugharne! Just where are we going?