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Leading figures in the four Welsh Regions have expressed their thanks to Stuart Gallacher for his contribution to Welsh Rugby and wished him well as he steps down from his role as CEO of RRW and announces his retirement from the game.

Peter Thomas, Chairman of the Cardiff Blues said: “He has been a rock in Welsh Rugby – a driving force for our interests and a trusted and respected friend and colleague for many years. I have great personal admiration for Stuart, he is held in very high regard throughout the game and has worked tirelessly over many years on the Welsh, Celtic and European rugby stages and it is right that we all fully applaud and celebrate his huge contribution and wish him a very happy retirement.”

Martyn Hazell, Chairman of the Newport Gwent Dragons: “Stuart has had a big presence in Welsh rugby as well as further afield representing the Welsh game across the European landscape. On behalf of all here at Newport Gwent Dragons we would like to thank Stuart for his huge contribution to the Welsh game, especially in bridging the gap between the amateur and professional game.”

CEO of the Ospreys, Andrew Hore said: “I first met Stu when he was CEO of Llanelli and it was clear to me back then that he installed a welcoming and strong set of great old school values into that organisation. Since then he has continued to gain my respect not only professionally but also, I’m pleased to say, as a mate.

“It’s fair to say that most people will never really know how much he has contributed to Welsh rugby behind the scenes and what a positive influence he has been in the game. If you ask anyone in Northern Hemisphere rugby Stu’s contribution and spirit in the way he conducted business, he is highly admired and that is a real credit to the man. I hope Stu enjoys his retirement and even though he’s a Turk hes welcome at the Ospreys any time.”

Roger Blyth, Ospreys Chairman said:  “Even though we have been adversaries on and off the field for many years, I have always totally respected his huge passion for both rugby in general and especially the Scarlets. His achievements on and off the field are well documented and although he is about to retire I am looking forward to catching up with him during the forthcoming season and for many seasons to come.”

Scarlets Director and former RRW chairman Huw Evans said: “Stuart has given so much to our game – a remarkable player, man, celebrated administrator and great and valued friend. He is respected, trusted and held in the highest esteem, throughout the rugby world and his contribution over such a significant period in Welsh Rugby will be difficult for anyone to match.

“He is one of Welsh rugby’s brave men – he fought like a lion for the Scarlets through the troubled years when the rugby world struggled to embrace ‘professionalism’ and for the Scarlets to stand alone to retain and protect its identity, heritage and tradition and again crucially, to secure the new stadium Parc y Scarlets. His courage and statesmanship remain key most components in Scarlets rugby history.

“Latterly the credibility, fairness and evenhandedness he has brought to the role of CEO of RRW, representing the Welsh Regions so skillfully and expertly, within the Celtic and European competitions, created a solid platform from which the future prospects of the Regions can be significantly improved.

“Stuart Gallacher has spent a lifetime championing our national sport and we all wish him very well in his retirement and to enjoy his time with his lovely family.”