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COMMENT: Perfect match for rugby fans, but work still needs to be tackled
9:00am Saturday 25th January 2014 in News
NOT everyone has been a fan of the Kassam Stadium hosting rugby games involving London Welsh, so a move to Witney could be a good tactical move for the rugby club.
As a town Witney has the potential to bring in large crowds, and the Witney Community Stadium could end up being a good home for the London exiles.
However, there is a lot of work still to be done at the stadium, including installing five temporary stands, before it can be deemed ready to accommodate thousands of rugby fans, so the 2014/2015 season seems an ambitious deadline.
London Welsh has shown it is serious about establishing its own base by submitting a planning application, but the proposals must now be carefully scrutinised by West Oxfordshire district councillors before they are allowed to go ahead.
The Professional Game Board for Rugby Union in England could also blow the whistle on the scheme if it is not satisfied.
With the Cotswolds on the doorstep, London Welsh could draw in crowds from a wide area and civic leaders in Witney are hopeful the scheme will boost trade for local businesses.
Witney Community Stadium and London Welsh could be a suitable match, and as rugby attendances have fallen at the Kassam it could be a better arrangement all round.
With a stadium to call their own London Welsh would be in a much better position to plan for the future, and Oxford’s loss would be Witney’s gain.
Securing a new home for the club is never going to be easy and London Welsh have a long way to go before their arrival in West Oxfordshire is confirmed.