Gareth Davies backed to replace namesake Gerald
ESPN Staff
July 10, 2014
Gareth Davies commentates, Wales v Australia, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, November 28, 2009
Gareth Davies is Peter Thomas' choice for a new WRU board member © Getty Images

Cardiff Blues chairman Peter Thomas has backed Gareth Davies to replace the outgoing Gerald Davies on the Welsh Rugby Union board.

Gerald Davies recently announced he would not be standing for re-election after having sat on the board since 2005. For Thomas, he believes Gerald Davies, who is CEO of the Dragons, is the perfect replacement and would help voice the opinions of the regions to the governing body of rugby in Wales.

"Regional Rugby Wales must have a voice on the national body," Thomas told Wales Online. "They have had it with Stuart Gallacher and Gethin Jenkins in the past, but they have not had it for years.

"If there is going to be harmony and partnership with the Union, then RRW should have a representative on the board. It is the perfect time for it to happen and Gareth is the ideal man to replace someone of Gerald's stature.

"He is a hugely respected man who is held in high regard throughout the game. Gareth has done it all. He is a former Wales captain and a British Lion. He has a wonderful business background, he is good with the media, he is Welsh speaking. He ticks every box imaginable.

"He is a statesmanlike figure. He is perfect for the job. He has got it all."

As the regions and the WRU continue to seek agreement over a new Participation Agreement, Thomas says he is hopeful a compromise will be found soon and also said he is not opposed to the idea of central contracts.

"We are very keen to pursue them," Thomas said. "We have reached the point now where they have got to be introduced. It will hopefully help retain players in Wales.

"Jamie Roberts wouldn't have gone to France if there had been a central contract on the table for him. I doubt if Leigh Halfpenny would have gone either. England are talking about £5m for their squads.

"With the support of central contracts, we would be able to get up to between £3.5m and £4.5m here in Wales. That would certainly help. An extra £500,000 a year into the team would enable you to bring in some real quality. It isn't rocket science. These are simple decisions.

"We just hope the Union will come back with a positive response. If we can't be competitive as regions, then what is the point? We must have peace in our time. We need to find the right resolution that allows the regions to compete and make the knock-out stages."

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