WOUNDED WELSH CALL FOR MAJOR OVERHAUL

WOUNDED WELSH CALL FOR MAJOR OVERHAUL

Post by rich » Tue, 11 Jun 1996 04:00:00

Evening Post, Wellington NZ Monday 10 June 1996

"BRISBANE - Wales'management has launched a stinging attack on the Welsh
Rugby Union, accusing the governing body of ignoring past lessons at the
cost of another test thrashing on Saturday night.

Speaking after being beaten 56-25 in the first test by an unconvincing
Australia at Ballymore, Welsh coach Kevin Bowring and captain Jonathon
Humphries claimed the WRU had not done enough to strengthen the game in
their country following heavy losses on previous tours to Australia.

They felt the Wallabies were at a big advantage having played in the
successful and highly competitive Super 12 international provincial
competition

"We've been out here in the past and had our hidings but have done nothing,"
Bowring said, referring to the 63-6 loss to the Wallabies at Ballymore in
1991.

"The most disappointing thing for me will not be this result but if we go
back to Wales and do nothing about it. Then we will come back in four years
and get another hiding.

"I'm not talking about their [the players] ability, I'm talking about the
system that they are a part of which is not challenging them. I felt they
were disadvantaged, they were on a playing field that was not level. The gap
will get greater and we have nobody to blame but ourselves."

Humphreys was equally scathing. "If we don't change it means we will be the
poor neighbours all the time", he said.

The Welsh team leaders suggested that northern hemisphere rugby should
consider setting up a tournamnet similar to the Super 12 series between
provincial sides from Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.

"I've seen the success of the Super 12, I've seen the success of the teams
in the Super 12", Humphreys said.

"We've got to try and follow a similar structure. We've got to get a
structure and an intensity of the rugby here, week in. week out."

Wales next plays Australia B at Ballymore on Wednesday night."-AAP