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Wiping Pontypridd off the map?

We are used to being the forgotten tribes here in RCT - very little seems to come north of the M4 corridor and the cry from everywhere that "everything goes to Cardiff" would be very tedious if it were not for the fact that it seems more and more to be true.

It has led to the "them versus us" mentality that, on a personal level, is in the main good natured; merely friendly rivalry between neighbouring areas.

That is nowhere more evident than on the rugby field, but that rivalry has taken on a whole new dimension this week.

The holier than thou regions, run, or so it appears, by money men with little real interest in the grassroots game are flexing their muscles again, in conjunction with the WRU. They have decided that premiership teams such as Pontypridd should serve only one purpose - to feed them.

Their latest plan is to stop premiership sides playing in the British Irish Cup competition. This has been the only chance in recent years for clubs to experience playing outside of the confines of the Welsh system and meet the challenge of upping their game to compete with sides from across the UK. Pontypridd in particular have performed pretty well, earned the respect of clubs and fans from Bristol to London Scottish, Edinburgh to Connaught and all points in between.

Now the regions want to form regional A sides to compete in the cup. Not surprisingly this has gone down like a lead balloon with Ponty fans.

Pontypridd RFC has for years not just excelled at producing exciting rugby and first class players but has also put the town on the map. People across the world have heard of Pontypridd because of the likes of Neil Jenkins, Gethin Jenkins, Martyn Williams and many more going back generations.

Now the powers that be want to keep us in our place. The final decision rests with the WRU but listening to comments from Gareth Davies and Roger Lewis the decision has already been made. Roger Lewis is of course the current Chief Executive of the WRU. He steps down shortly and has been handed the job of running Cardiff airport. A man with friends in the upper echelons of the Labour party he is also the Chair of the regional board set up to oversee the economic regeneration of this area. The name given to that region, which covers RCT, is the Cardiff City Region. RCT Council have no representation on that Board.

It seems that there is almost a concerted effort to wipe not just ontypridd but the whole of RCT off the map.