One major advantage of a new Region within Wales would simply be an increase in the number of derby games to the benefit of all of the Regions.
To develop this concept, and to engage in the entire Region, Valleys Rugby proposes hosting its Rabo Direct games in the most geographically advantageous area.
In order to capitalise on strong local support from fans and Rhondda Cynon Taf Local Authority, and predicated upon evidence of core established attendance figures, we have recommended that Sardis Road be the "home" of Valleys Rugby.
However, Valleys Rugby will also host up to 50% of its home matches at clubs throughout its region, in stadia capable of hosting professional Rugby fixtures - either now or in the future.
An illustrative schedule of fixtures to be undertaken by Valleys Rugby might look as follows:-
|Valleys v. Blues||Sardis Road (Pontypridd)|
|Valleys v. Ospreys||Sardis Road (Pontypridd)|
|Valleys v. Dragons||Eugene Cross Park (Ebbw Vale) / Pontypool Park (Pontypool)|
|Valleys v. Scarlets||Virginia Park (Caerphilly) / Brewery Field (Bridgend)|
|Valleys v. Leinster||Sardis Road (Pontypridd) / The Gnoll (Neath)|
|Valleys v. Edinburgh||Parc Eirias (Colwyn Bay)|
|Valleys v. Ulster||Parc Eirias (Colwyn Bay)|
|Valleys v. Munster||Penydarren Park (Merthyr)|
|Valleys v. Treviso||Sardis Road (Pontypridd)|
|Valleys v. Aironi||Sardis Road (Pontypridd)|
|Valleys v. Connacht||Sardis Road (Pontypridd)|
|Valleys v. Glasgow||Sardis Road (Pontypridd)|
|European & LV Games||Venues as appropriate|
Valleys Rugby would hope to commit to a particular venue on a recurring basis (such as Eugene Cross Park for the Dragons) on the basis that this venue would generate home support for the Valleys and also generate a genuine derby atmosphere.
Fixing the fixture to a specific venue would add certainty to the “location” for supporters and hopefully avoid the crowd dilution effect suffered by Regions when moving to different venues previously.
Each of the grounds hosting Valleys Rugby would have to show adequate support from the ground owner and a commitment to ensure the playing surface and facilities are of adequate standard for Regional rugby.
Ultimately, the venues would be decided upon by the make-up of the affiliated clubs and their financial commitment to the Region.
The initial principal stadium of Valleys Rugby would be Sardis Road. In this respect:-
A scheme for the redevelopment of Sardis Road has been investigated by award winning architects Austin-Smith Lord LLP and images of how a redevelopment could look can be seen here.
However, in its early stages, Valleys Rugby would spend predominantly on pitch improvement and general seating. Hospitality could be provided using marquee facilities and also by linking up with local hotels within the Region. Capital expenditure on hospitality would be required in the future but would not be targeted as an immediate priority.
The training facilities of the University of Glamorgan would be utilised by Valleys Rugby. Valleys Rugby intends to develop close links with the University through player scholarships and similar schemes.
Valleys Rugby recognises that an intelligent and well resourced travel plan will be required to maximise attendances at peripatetic Valleys Rugby home matches. Edwards Coaches has already indicated its support for Valleys Rugby and has undertaken to work with the new Region to develop and deliver a comprehensive and cost effective travel offering for Valleys Rugby supporters as part of our unique offering.