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Regions urged to attend ERC meeting

The Welsh Rugby Union has urged the country's four regions to select a representative to attend Wednesday's European Rugby Cup board meeting.

Regional Rugby Wales (RRW) relinquished its seat on the board of Heineken Cup organisers ERC at the height of the European rugby impasse.

Now the WRU want RRW to appoint a replacement for Stuart Gallacher, who stepped down from the ERC board last month, in time for that nominee to attend Wednesday's meeting in Dublin.

Welsh union bosses confirmed in a statement they had written to RRW on Tuesday, urging for the Welsh regions conglomerate to send a representative to the ERC summit.

"RRW are urged to appoint a Director of ERC in advance of tomorrow's meeting, and attend in that capacity, in order to effect change and/or exert an influence in any way," reads part of the statement released by the WRU.

"This action would enable the RRW director to re-join the debate and participate and contribute fully to the important discussions that will take place.

"The WRU believes that the regional organisations are best served by being represented on the board of directors of ERC and working with the WRU so that the interests of Welsh rugby can be met."

Sources have suggested this latest move from the WRU could cloud both the European wrangle and the Welsh civil war still further, even if unintentionally.

English club body Premiership Rugby and Welsh counterpart RRW want a new European competition for next season to fall under the governance of the Six Nations organising committee.

Representatives from the six European unions and club bodies met on Tuesday near Heathrow Airport in London.

Another meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 12.

This latest bid to thrash out a way forward for top-flight European rugby had been hoped to bring real progress with it, but for now discussions continue.

Chief executive Roger Lewis has also told BBC Radio Wales the WRU must remember its contractual obligations in the European wrangling.

"Europe is a sum of many moving parts, it's not just a discussion between ourselves and the four regions," he said.

"We have to recognise the contractual positions that we've all arrived at and we have to recognise our responsibilities and liabilities to the stakeholders who, legally, we have entered into contractually binding arrangements with."

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