Sam Warburton floated the idea of ​​two new leagues to save club rugby.

With four regions of Wales under severe financial restrictions and three English Premier League clubs withdrawn, Warburton says the time has come to create a new British and Irish league.

The Welsh legend referred to Stephen Jones’ idea of ​​creating an Anglo-Welsh league in his Times. and says he and other Cardiff Rugby board members were “thrilled” by the column when they read it. He said he feared the Welsh Rugby Union was waiting for one of the regions to go into administration before it could proceed with just three.

Warburton in his own Times column: “It is time to step up and make serious decisions before things get even worse.

“Because I fear that the WRU is simply waiting for one of the four regions to go into administration before it can adequately fund all three regions, which is why it is not investing much in the regions at the moment.”

The former Cardiff Rugby player cited the Top 14 as an example of a commercially successful league. He explained that he had spoken to former French star Benjamin Kaiser about Henry Arundell’s decision to remain in the French league with Racing 92.

One of the main reasons players stayed in France was that there is a lot of money coming in from television, which makes the game an extremely valuable asset. Warburton believes that if Welsh rugby fans could see players like Owen Farrell every week with teams like Saracens at home then we would have a more commercially successful league.

While the idea of ​​an Anglo-Welsh league is the “more romantic option”, as Warburton says, the concept of a British and Irish league is much more plausible.

The former British and Irish Lions captain explained that there is currently no fan interest in the United Rugby Championship.

“URC has done a good job under these circumstances to become commercially viable, but it is not perfect,” he said.

“I think the problem with the regions in Wales is not that the fans haven’t accepted the regions, it’s that they haven’t accepted the competitions the regions compete in.

“There is a need for high-stakes gaming that URC simply does not provide. There is no acceptance. I am a former Cardiff player, now a fan and board member and I fear that URC Cardiff’s results will not be European. Yes, but not the URC.”

But what will happen to the South African and Italian parts? Warburton has a simple explanation: “Some will wonder what will happen to the South African and Italian teams in the URC, but it makes sense for Italian clubs to switch to the French system and I find it surprising that with all their players, the South A Africa couldn’t have a worse national league.”

Warburton’s plan for the proposed league is: “It would have two divisions of 10 teams each. “There would be 10 Gallagher Premiership teams, four Welsh, four Irish and two Scottish,” he said.

“So whenever this new league starts, you will have the five best teams in the Premier League and the five best Celtic teams in the URC from the previous season to form the main conference and the rest will be in the second division. has home and away matches with 18 matches. Corresponds to what is being played now.

“I don’t think the Welsh, Irish and Scottish teams below Division One are good enough to compete for places in this league, but I think the Championship and therefore the last English club in this league should be considered a new league. Each season’s league will compete for a place in the championship’s top league. I think there will be a huge appetite for this new league and I don’t think it will devalue Europe. Will it be better than what we have now? I think so.”