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Cardiff’s Ken Fourie is tackled by Simon Grainger in a match against Caerphilly in 2003

Former Cardiff RFC and Cardiff Blues prop Ken Fourie is still a massive supporter of Welsh rugby but is sceptical about the new Pro14.

Fourie said, “Whilst i believe we are moving towards a global season in the coming years, this has been a rushed decision given that the Kings and Cheetahs were kicked out of the Super18.I fear that the over complication of the Pro 14 will have the same effect that has happened in the Southern Hemisphere with dwindling numbers and loss of interest in a competition that is way too long and over complicated. The public just want to watch a competition where top teams are playing each other for silverware”

 

Cardiff’s Ken Fourie holds off Chris Brown in a match against Cross Keys in 2001

The fixture list has not yet been announced but Fourie is concerned that, “Northern Hemisphere teams are supposed to come here in the heat of Summer? How will they cope with the temperatures and also altitude?

“We will see how this unfolds with the Cheetahs/Kings, on another level i dont think that the Teams will be the best available because if the Teams in Super Rugby will pull all the good players first and what is left will be fielded in the Pro14,so these will be watered down games.”
Ken played for Cardiff and saw the transition from Club to Regional Rugby, which had been very difficult, and it was now good that the Welsh Rugby Union had come in to take over at the Dragons. “Its the way it needed to go but Central Contracts should have been from the start.”
“The Welsh pool of players is still quite small and this pool needs to be increased drastically. One thing that Steve Hansen said last year is that New Zealand rugby is the best, not because of the players but good people back home running the Rugby. Top people with the best intentions that are qualified in their positions to run rugby properly. I hope that Welsh rugby can ensure that rugby from Grassroots upwards is very important. It looks like the Welsh Rugby Union, with Martyn Phillips and Gareth Davies at the helm, are taking them in the right direction. Whatever happens I will still be watching with interest how this unfolds and continuing to support the country I travelled to and enjoyed so much.”
He finished by saying, “I do hope this works for the benefit of rugby. The next 5 years are crucial in this sport across the world, TV deals/viewership and increase in playing numbers have to be the most important factor”

 

 

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