David Moffett unveils manifesto in WRU election bid

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image captionFormer WRU chief David Moffett was in charge for three years

Ex-Welsh Rugby Union chief executive David Moffett has unveiled his plans for election to the WRU board.

He was responsible for the move to regional rugby during his time at the WRU and has been critical of how the union is currently run.

His 17-point manifesto proposes more money for grassroots rugby, a better relationship with the regions and to renegotiate the WRU's debt.

Mr Moffett has written to Wales' 320 clubs canvassing their support.

He needs two of them to nominate him for the election which takes place in August.

Mr Moffett was chief executive between 2002 and 2005 and briefly chief executive of Regional Rugby Wales from 2008 until 2009.

"With the release of my manifesto the choices are very, very clear," he said.

"Either continue with the current dictatorial, undemocratic approach which has disenfranchised the community game or adopt a system which owes much to the past when the clubs had more say in the way the WRU is run.

"The latter path is my vision for Welsh rugby; the former has no place in a democratic union of clubs."

He added: "There is a better way of doing things, not just for the national team, but also for every aspect and tier of Welsh rugby. Welsh clubs are special; they have been overlooked for too long and it's time for change."

The WRU said it had no intention at this stage of responding to anything in the manifesto.

Moffett was WRU chief executive before leaving that role in December 2005 and was succeeded by current group chief executive Roger Lewis in October 2006.

During Moffett's tenure, Welsh rugby's elite tier was controversially reduced from nine to five teams for the launch of regional rugby in 2003.

A year later one of those teams, Celtic Warriors - a merger of Bridgend and Pontypridd rugby clubs - closed down amid more controversy.

That left Ospreys, Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons and Cardiff Blues as the nation's leading teams.

Having criticised Lewis's stewardship of the WRU, Moffett returned to Wales as chief executive of the regions' umbrella body Regional Rugby Wales in October 2008 amid the regions' row with the WRU over the release of players for Wales international training sessions.

That row ended with the union winning a High Court ruling, forcing the regions to release players for training ahead of the opening 2008 Autumn Test against South Africa.

Moffett left in May 2009 and was succeeded by former Scarlets chief Stuart Gallacher.

To become a director representing one of nine WRU districts for a three-year term, Moffett would need the backing of two clubs in a local area and be successful in that election.

And to become one of three national directors for a three-year term, he would need the nomination of two clubs and be successful in the election.

To be chairman, Moffett would first need to win an election to the board and then be nominated from among its members and successfully win that vote.

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