Welsh rugby will get worse beore it gets better – Tom Shanklin

Ospreys have been the most successful with eight wins but on Saturday they conceded more than 60 points for the second successive week with the 61-20 loss to Leinster following the 61-24 hammering against Bulls in Pretoria.

It means Toby Booth’s side are eight points off the top eight play-off positions with two weekends remaining.

So Wales face the prospect of having no side in the Champions Cup for the first time next season and no representation in the URC play-offs for the second successive year.

The wage bills for the four sides were reduced to £5.2m for this season resulting in smaller squad and the total will go down further to £4.5m for the 2024-25 campaign.

“We can’t compete with the top five or six sides,” Shanklin told Scrum V Sunday.

“Until something changes we are going to be constantly be in the bottom half of the table.

“I can’t see us improving next year, in fact I think it will be worse, because you are losing so many players.

“Unless something drastic happens where we have higher budgets, more money to spend on players and keep them, we are going to be even worse than last year.”

Shanklin believes continued failure could lead to supporters walking away rom Welsh rugby.

“We have to be careful at the moment otherwise we are going to have fans turning away from watching rugby and they are going to be finding another sport,” said Shanklin.

“We need teams to be in quarter-finals and semi-finals and in the latter stages of Europe because at the moment we are way off.”

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