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Elite Domestic Competition Licensing Announcement

Elite Domestic Competition Licensing Announcement

The make-up of Welsh rugby’s new Elite Domestic Competition for season 2024/5 is now largely known, with one final place up for grabs in a hugely exciting 10-team league.

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The Welsh Rugby Union Board met on Thursday (8 February) to assess and consider the applications for the new competition, which is designed to bridge the performance gap between the amateur and professional game and determine the best club team in Wales on an annual basis.

It was decided to confirm the recommendations of the EDC Licencing Panel to grant licences for nine clubs to participate in the new competition.

DFP – Leaderboard

The Welsh clubs joining the new league in September 2024 will be:


Bridgend Ravens

Carmarthen Quins

Ebbw Vale





RGC 1404

An expert panel convened by the WRU considered the applications, consisting of Club Business Plans, Rugby Performance Plans, and other key data. The recommendations of the Licensing Panel were then considered and ratified by the WRU’s Board of Directors on 8 February 2024.

Applications were evaluated against the following five criteria: Organisational Due Diligence, Rugby Development, Growth Potential, Unique Selling Point and Public Interest.

The WRU, which is granting licences to all successful clubs for an initial three-year term, acknowledges the high-quality work and effort undertaken by the clubs in developing their submissions.

The new Elite Domestic Competition will sit under the governance of the Professional Rugby Board, and consist of ten teams participating in a season structure aligned to the professional game, with clubs officially partnered with professional regions.

As part of their licence, clubs will recieve an increase in investment from the WRU and be required to work within a new salary cap, and meet Minimum Operating Expectations for the competition.

The WRU Board has also approved the re-opening of the application process to to review the granting of the one remaining licence for the competition, appealing for eligible clubs to apply to allocate the remaining EDC Licence. Further information regarding this process will be provided in due course, save that the WRU anticipates that this process should be completed by early Spring.

WRU Performance Director Huw Bevan said: “We need ten teams in this league if it is to perform at its optimum level.

“Our clubs must also meet the criteria for a licence, to ensure that we are producing the sustainable and successful elite competition we need in Wales.

“This is why we are going back out to our clubs to search for a tenth team ready to join this exciting new competition.

Huw Bevan at the WRU’s National Centre of Excellence

“This new league represents the missing link in our senior men’s pathway, but it will also be the shop window for the traditional club game in Wales and all the history and heritage that brings.

“This is a hugely exciting development for Welsh rugby and we need to ensure we have the right building blocks in place to achieve our ambitious aims for this competition.

“The door is now open for another club to come to the table and we hope a number of further applications will be received to ensure a further thorough and competitive process.

“This league will integrate our long-standing, ambitious and committed semi-professional clubs in Wales with the professional game.

“It will support the development of high potential young professional players but also drive the quality of the domestic semi-professional game.

“The nine successful clubs can now forge ahead with the final stages of their business plans and lock in their playing and coaching teams for next season.

“We look forward to now establishing and activating the competition in what will be a new dawn for domestic men’s rugby in Wales.”

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