Welsh rugby civil war
Anglo-Welsh league becoming a reality
ESPN Staff
February 2, 2014
The regions have seemingly thrown their weight behind an Anglo-Welsh league © Getty Images

The Welsh regions are ready to announce an alliance with the English clubs as plans for an Anglo-Welsh league take a step closer to becoming a reality.

Reports in The Rugby Paper say the Welsh regions will this week confirm plans to join their English counterparts and form a joint league ahead of next season. Friday was the deadline handed to the Welsh Rugby Union by the regions for the organisation to approve their wish to join the breakaway Rugby Champions Cup.

However, the January 31 deadline came and went without any resolution - other than a statement from the regions saying they were holding fire on showing their hand due to Wales' match with Italy on Saturday. With no end to the current dispute in site, former WRU CEO David Moffett has confirmed the regions have penned a contract with the English clubs.

"That is correct as I understand it - they have signed an agreement," Moffett told The Rugby Paper. "Whether the RFU has a different point of view remains to be seen.

"It's an unholy mess. With no end to the dispute in sight, both parties will now come out and say they have an agreement to play in an Anglo-Welsh competition."

And reports in The Sunday Times say the regions needed to take out an emergency bank loan to pay their players as they are yet to receive a £800,000 payment from the ERC for this year's Heineken Cup.

"The regions say that they were given no notice that the payment would not be made; it simply failed to materialise in their accounts," the newspaper reports. "After the regions expressed their anger, ERC issued a statement saying that no payment would be made until after a board meeting due to take place later this month."

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