Principality To Be Split Between East And West

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12 June 2017

The BBC has reported that the Principality Welsh Premiership is set to be divided into two groups of eight teams in east and west Wales.

It is understood these plans have been approved by the clubs and will need to be ratified by a Welsh Rugby Union board.

Aberavon, Bridgend, Carmarthen Quins, Llandovery, Llanelli, Neath, RGC 1404 and Swansea will form the west.

Holders Merthyr, Bargoed, Bedwas, Cardiff, Cross Keys, Ebbw Vale, Newport and Pontypridd are in the east.

The clubs will play each other home and away in the first half of the season with more local derbies and less travel before all 16 sides join together, with points being carried over from the regional format.

The sides will then play each other once meaning clubs will have 29 guaranteed league games.

There will be no end-of-season play-offs and the side who finishes top of the table will be crowned overall champions.

This format would replace last season's competition when clubs were split into two sections of eight midway through the campaign based on positions in the table. There were only 22 guaranteed games for clubs in this competition.

Neath coach Gareth Llewellyn, who played 92 times for Wales, welcomed the changes.

"The main thing was that nobody was happy with the way it was structured last season," said Llewellyn.

"Nobody wanted to be in the two tier system at the end of the season, now we have the two regional pools of the season going into a full

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