Wales Rugby League have unfortunately had to make two of their staff redundant due to loss of funding.
Jon Ellis, the Coaching and Performance Development Manager, having been employed the last six years with WRL, will finish 27th December 2016.
Allen Jones, North Wales Development Officer, employed for the last eight months with WRL will finish on 16th December 2016. Allen was previously employed as a fulltime Rugby League community coach by Glyndwr University so has again worked in the sport for a number of years.
Wales Rugby League’s CEO Chris Thair said: “We’d like to thank both Allen and Jon for their time and considerable skill in helping move the sport forward these last few years. Both have given great service to Rugby League in Wales. We of course wish Allen and Jon well in the future and very much hope they remain involved in the sport. They are both very good coaches, coach educators and people who have a tremendous passion for the sport and their region.
“Whilst this news may come as a surprise to many, these decisions have not been made lightly or in a short timeframe. In the summer of this year, the RFL gave a strong indication that their £70,000 annual support to WRL for junior development would cease at the end of 2017; which they have since reaffirmed. This early notice was being provided to aid our preparation towards that day. We will of course continue to put a strong case forward to the RFL for this not to be the case and try to increase our commercial income from other sources however it would be foolhardy for us not to prepare. Since being notified by the RFL, WRL has been undertaking an operational review to ensure we get the maximum return from our limited resources towards achieving our strategic aims.
“The drop in RFL financial support means the only core funding will come from Sport Wales which is around £50,000 per annum. Whilst the Sport Wales funding is not guaranteed, we are confident of meeting their targets and don’t see this figure fluctuating too much in the near future. £43,000 of the Sport Wales funding covers community work and the remaining £7,500 supports coaching pathways. Sport Wales do not fund any of the nine origin teams or six international teams directly run by Wales Rugby League so these are also part of the same review.
“Our priorities in 2017 centre around our participation in the World Cup, the domestic club competitions and raising commercial income to buffer against the loss of RFL funding and make us more sustainable in the future. This will be reflected in where our resources are prioritised.”