RUGBY UNION: Witney plan was a geunine one, says London Welsh chief

Bleddyn Phillips denied Witney plan was used as a bargaining tool

Bleddyn Phillips denied Witney plan was used as a bargaining tool

First published in Sport Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

London Welsh chairman Bleddyn Phillips says the club’s plans for a move to Witney were genuine and not a bargaining tool.

The Exiles announced yesterday that they had signed a new three-year deal to play at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium.

This came less than two months after getting planning permission to develop the Witney Community Stadium.

Phillips denied suggestions the Witney option had been part of a plan to strike a better rent deal at the Kassam.

“We never used Witney as a stalking horse, that’s just not the case,” he said.

“There still remains a very good option at Witney.

“It was never used by us simply as a bargaining chip.”

Phillips said Welsh took soundings from across Oxfordshire before deciding that staying at the Kassam Stadium was their best option.

And having signed a new deal, he hopes the news can reassure supporters and boost ticket sales.

“It’s not just about talk and words, but commitment behind that,” he said.

“Hopefully, people in Oxfordshire will realise that and come and support us for the Jersey game on April 12 and the play-offs.

“Regardless of whether we go up or stay in the Championship, we are still committed to Oxfordshire.”

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