Has the new structure of Welsh regional rugby improved overall performance
Harding, Gareth Thomas
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Over the last century rugby in Wales has become the national sport and part of the \tr/elsh identity. The preceding decades have seen a considerable decline in the standard of the Welsh g¿rme and in the summer of 2003 a restructuring of the domestic system was proposed to revive the profile of rugby in Wales. The WRU persuaded the Welsh premier clubs to form five elite regional sides with the objective of improving overall performance. The aim of this study was to examine if this reform has improved the standard of the game in Wales. The purpose of the study was to develop a hand notation system that would differentiate between the performances of the new regional sides compared to the club sides of the 2002-2003 Welsh premier league. Twelve games were analysed (regional N : 6, club N : 6) and performance indicators consisting of: Possession, territory, game errors, game points, game outcomes, game actions, and key player effectiveness were cross examined and comparisons made between regional and pre-regional teams. In order to determine if there was a significant difference in the performances of the sides a chi square statistical analysis was applied to each performance component. Results from the study indicate that regional rugby has significantly improved performance components of possession, grlme outcomes, game actions and key player effectiveness. The results indicate that performance components of territory, errors and game points have not improved. Conclusion of the analysis accepts the research hypotheses that regional rugby has improved overall performance.
BSc (Hons) Sport, P.E. and Recreation
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