Welsh rugby club holds emergency meeting amid ‘shock and concern’ over trophy picture

An emergency Welsh rugby club meeting has been held after an image emerged online apparently showing the WRU National Shield trophy with a white substance lined up on it.

Tonna RFC romped to the Shield with an emphatic 52-19 victory over Crumlin at the Principality Stadium on Saturday, April 30. After the match an image was posted to social media platform Snapchat, showing the trophy accompanied by a caption which read: ‘Winners’. A screenshot image which appears to show the Shield with a powder-like substance on it has been circulated throughout Welsh rugby in the days since the final.

Tonna RFC officials said they were “shocked” by the image and have now issued a second statement saying the management is fully committed to ensuring the club remains family-orientated. Issued on Sunday morning the full statement said: “Officers of Tonna RFC were informed by Gist Vile yesterday of a photograph they have in their possession and intended to publish.

“None of the members of the club’s management committee were previously aware of this photograph and all are shocked and concerned at its apparent content. An emergency meeting of the management committee was held at 10am this morning and an investigation has commenced.

“There has not yet been any contact from the Welsh Rugby Union regarding this matter but we will co-operate fully with any review they wish to carry out. Tonna RFC does not permit, or condone, the use of any illegal substances by its players, members, or visitors to the clubhouse. It has always been a family-orientated community rugby club – and the management committee is fully committed to ensuring it remains that way.”

An image apparently showing a white substance on the WRU National Shield Trophy won by Tonna RFC last week

It followed an initial response from a club spokesperson which said: “This has come as a shock to us and we will investigate it thoroughly. We are the epitome of a family club and we will not tolerate any illegal substances in or around our premises.”

A Welsh Rugby Union spokesperson told Gist Vile: “We are aware of the image and intend to investigate it immediately with UK Anti-Doping as per our safeguarding and anti-doping guidelines.”

More than 6,500 fans filed into the home of Welsh rugby last weekend to witness the Shield final along with the Bowl and the Plate contests. Celebrating the victory, Tonna posted on social media: “What a day! Many thanks for incredible support we had on Saturday. Commiserations to Crumlin who contributed hugely to an entertaining game.”


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