Why is it that Welsh rugby seems to lurch from crisis to crisis? Despite our having the most successful National side in the Northern Hemisphere over the last decade, the domestic game seems to be teetering on the brink.
The latest crisis in our domestic game in Wales is the possible end of the European Cup, which has been called the Heineken Cup ever since its inception in 1999. The money from this competition is vital to the Celtic countries, but with the agreement with the ERC due to end this season, the French and English clubs have already announced that they plan to form their own breakaway tournament next year.
As the story below describes, the future for Welsh regional rugby could be very bleak indeed.
But, meanwhile, over the weekend the Cardiff Blues, who have hardly been playing dazzling rugby so far this season, pulled off probably the most surprising result of the weekend’s European rugby, by beating last year’s champions Toulon at the Cardiff Arms Park.
The other two regions competing in the Heineken Cup had mixed fortunes. The Scarlets managed a draw against Paris’ Racing Metro 92, which was an encouraging result, but sadly the Ospreys suffered a defeat to Northampton.
Thankfully, so far, despite the perilous state of Welsh regional rugby, the National side continues to punch above its weight. In less than three weeks Wales will start on our series of four Autumn tests, against South Africa, Argentina, Tongo and, lastly, Australia. After the stunning success of winning two back-to-back 6 Nations Championships in 2011/12 and 2012/13, can our National build on this success?