Gareth Davies has said that the vote to modernise the Welsh Rugby Union’s governance structure is one of the most significant steps in its 130-year history.
Members of the WRU approved a proposal to modernise the governance structures of the game and revolutionise rugby in Wales for generations to come at Sunday’s Annual General Meeting,
Representatives of the 320 members, clubs and districts of the WRU provided in excess of the necessary 75 per cent majority, at the AGM held at the Vale Resort, Hensol, to pass the proposals which were first mooted in 2016.
The main changes reduce the WRU Board in size from 20 to 12 Directors – in accordance with corporate best practice and complying with the ‘Governance and Leadership Framework for Wales’ – underneath which a WRU Council will be established together with a Community Game Board (CGB).
The re-structuring means a smaller, more agile WRU Board will oversee the game in Wales, alongside the Council which will determine and oversee the strategy for the community game.
“The importance of the changes that have been approved today cannot be overstated, this is one of the most significant moments in the 130 year history of the Welsh Rugby Union and I truly believe today’s vote will allow us to lead the way in the world game in the years to come,”said WRU chairman Davies.
“Welsh rugby should be proud of the current Board members who brought this proposal to member clubs this afternoon and equally proud of their club representatives who have voted them through.
“We have consulted extensively with our member clubs throughout Wales since the proposals were first mooted in 2016 and we are confident that we have arrived at the solution which will safeguard the future of our game for many generations to come.”
The new WRU Board will consist of the Chair of the Community Game Board – one of the club representatives elected onto the WRU Council – a further seven Council members, all elected onto the Council by clubs (being five District Council Members and two National Council Members), three appointed Independent Directors (including the Chair of the Professional Rugby Board – subject to signing ‘Project Reset’) and the Group chief executive.
The WRU Board has already approved the changes so the new structure is expected to be in place shortly following the end of the 2019 Six Nations Championship with relevant changes to be made to its Articles of Association immediately.
“This is a pivotal moment for Welsh Rugby,” added Davies.
“The governance changes will improve the WRU and provide a governance structure that is modern and fit for purpose.
“These changes will also enable us to better improve diversity within our governance, better representing the interests of everyone involved in our game.
“The key is that the WRU Board is able to take agile decisions and has a broad range of skill sets and experiences, whilst retaining a link to its membership.
“The right people, with the appropriate experience and skills, will be empowered to make decisions for the greater good of Welsh rugby and the proposed structure will protect the vital link to the member clubs.
“These changes will protect the position of Welsh rugby within the global sporting landscape.”
The current structure of nine districts will remain in place and each district will continue to meet as determined by that district.
Annual District Meetings will continue to be held at which the district shall, as required, elect the District Council Member(s) and discuss the development and administration of rugby in that district.