Davies details steps to modernise WRU

15.3.2017

Gareth DaviesGareth Davies
Gareth Davies

Chairman Gareth Davies has written to each of the Welsh Rugby Union’s 320 member clubs to outline a major structural overhaul which is to modernise the way the game is governed in Wales.

Four new sub-boards have been created to discuss specific aspects of governance prior to full Board meetings, with the aim of streamlining the decision-making process in Welsh Rugby.

The modernisation will particularly benefit the community game, with a new forum dedicated solely to grass roots rugby.

Each sub-board will discuss their specific areas - Commercial, Financial, Professional/Performance and Community Game - meaning full Board meetings will not need to be held as regularly and should be less cumbersome.

The sub-boards, which can co-opt members, will meet every month, while the full WRU Board will now be scheduled to meet in its entirety four times a year instead of 12.

“The changes we are making are part of our continued aim to modernise the way in which the game is governed in Wales,” said Davies.

“All sporting bodies are being scrutinised closely on their governance structures and composition of their management boards, and, partly in response, but mainly as it is the right thing to do, we have recently reviewed our internal structures.

“We have created four new ‘sub-boards’ which will meet to discuss specific areas of governance, prior to full Board meetings.

“They contain specialist executive staff as well as WRU Board members and will help the decision making process of the full Board become more agile and efficient when it meets.

“The big one for me is the Community Board. The main beneficiary of these changes will hopefully be the community game as more focus will be directed at this crucial part of our business in a forum dedicated only to the grassroots game.

“My experience to date is there has been little discussion around the community game at the main Board as there are always strategic issues on the agenda, for example.

“There’s going to be a clear focus now. This is a proper board to look at the community game and what we need to do with it.

“It’s not a case of separation, but greater focus on certain areas and a meaningful structure operating below our full Board.”

In addition to creating this new structure to underpin the WRU Board, its members have been taking pro-active steps to examine the diversity and skill sets available within the Board itself.

The recently published ‘Strategy for Welsh Rugby’, which is downloadable in its entirety on the WRU website (here), states in its opening section, under ‘Governance’:

“We have a responsibility to be agile and inclusive.  We will implement the right governance systems and structures with suitably qualified individuals reflective of modern society.”

And Davies says the WRU is taking the necessary steps towards achieving this aim as it seeks to modernise the governance structure of Welsh Rugby.

The chairman will be writing to clubs again in the near future detailing the skills identified as being required for a WRU Board member and hopes to encourage a wider and more varied pool of talent to apply for positions, as and when they may become available.

“We know, for example, that a number of positions on the Board will be up for re-election this summer and further details about this process will be forthcoming as always,” he added.

“We firmly believe that it is in the interests of good governance for there to be a high level of competition for places in each and every case, incumbents included.”

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