URC fixtures cause uproar in Europe
SPOTLIGHT: Glasgow Warriors Managing Director Alastair Kellock has penned an open letter to fans of the club, as the fallout from the scheduling of the United Rugby Championship (URC) continues.
There was dismay among a number of clubs around elements of the fixtures list, which the URC have called the most complicated schedule they’ve ever conceived.
The Dragons and Scarlets were annoyed that they would be without their international contingent in their opening round of matches. There was also annoyance in Wales over the change-up of the traditional Christmas and New Year’s derbies.
The Warriors’ gripe is over the loss of their traditional Friday evening games, which allows the wider rugby community to both support the professional side in Glasgow while being able to attend to grassroots matters throughout the rest of the weekend.
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Kellock addressed the issue on the Glasgow Warriors website, writing: “I am writing to you following the publication of the 2021/22 United Rugby Championship fixtures on Friday [August 27].”
“The club, and I, share the frustrations that many of you have over the timings of our games, yet we understand the significant complexities the tournament organisers have looked to overcome to arrive at this schedule.
“However, the choice you now face to be involved in the grassroots game throughout Glasgow, and the West, or to support Glasgow Warriors is not a decision we want you to have. You, our rugby clubs, and the communities you serve are the lifeblood of this club and we would not be where we are today without you.
“Since receiving the schedule on Wednesday we have been, and continue to be, in discussions with the United Rugby Championship to understand what can be done to address the challenges that arise from these timings. I can assure you we are working hard alongside the URC, and will continue to do so in the coming weeks, to find resolutions.”
“Thank you for your continued support of Glasgow Warriors.”
Martin Anayi, United Rugby Championship CEO, said earlier this week that the contentious URC fixtures list comes in the context of one of the most challenging circumstances imaginable:
“This schedule is the most complex we have ever produced and the efforts of every one of our stakeholders to help us piece it together in the current climate have been monumental.
“We now have a format that will heighten competition, showcase our clubs, elevate our athletes and bring great excitement to fans and TV audiences right across our territories and beyond.”
By Ian Cameron, Rugbypass