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England's Maggie Alphonsi included on WRU independent review panel

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Legendary England women’s player Maggie Alphonsi has been named on the panel that will investigate allegations of sexism, misogyny, homophobia and racism at the WRU. The panel will also look at the organisational culture and behaviours of WRU leadership at all levels of the game in Wales.

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A statement read: “Sport Resolutions, who will administer the WRU independent review, have confirmed the personnel chosen for the review panel. The independent review panel will be chaired by SR panel member and former Court of Appeal judge Dame Anne Rafferty DBE PC.

“She will be joined by former international rugby union player Maggie Alphonsi MBE and SR panel member and mediator Quentin Smith. Public lawyer David Lawson of Serjeant’s Inn will act as counsel to the inquiry.

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“A Commissioning Advisory Group (CAG) has also been established to support the review, comprising of Henry Englehardt as a representative from the WRU and Emma Wilkins as a representative from Sport Wales.

“Louise Reilly, a sport-specialist barrister, will act as a third independent member nominated by Sport Resolutions. The role of the CAG is to monitor progress and consider and reflect on the Terms of Reference in response to emerging findings of the panel.

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“The independent review began on February 13, and will consider the period from 2017 to the present, however emerging evidence may prompt the chair to adapt the timeframe. It is investigating allegations of sexism, misogyny, homophobia and racism and will also examine the organisational culture and behaviours of leadership at all levels at the WRU.

“The independent review panel is grateful to the people who have already started to send information to the review team. The panel wants to encourage contributions to the review and will make the process as easy as possible for each individual. The panel would also welcome contact and contributions from those who wish to remain anonymous.

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“For individuals who wish to contribute to and/or engage with the review, they are able to contact the Sport Resolutions administrative team via the dedicated email address of wru@sportresolutions.com. Further announcements will be made in the next weeks about the approach and progress of the review.”

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Shaylen 3 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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J
Jon 8 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

I think the main problem here is the structure of both countries make up. They are going to have very similar.. obstacles(not problems). It will just be part of the evolution of their rugby and they’ll need to find a way to make this versatility more advantageous than specialization. I think South Africa are well on the way to that end already, but Ireland are more likely to have a hierarchical approach and move players around the provinces. Sopoaga is going to be more than good enough to look up one of those available positions for more than a few years I believe though. Morgan would definitely be a more long term outlook. Sacha to me has the natural footwork of a second five. Not everything is about winning, if a team has 3 players that want to play 10s just give them all a good go even if its to the detriment of everyone, this is also about dreams of the players, not just the fans. This is exactly how it would be in an amateur club setting. Ultimately some players just aren’t suited to any one position. The example was of a guy that had size and speed, enough pace to burn, power to drive, and speed to kick and pass long, but just not much else when it came to actual rugby (that matched it). New Zealand has it’s own example with Jordie Barrett and probably shows what Reece Hodge could have been if the game in Australia had any administration. Despite the bigger abundance of talent in NZ, Jordie was provided with consistent time as a fullback, before being ushered in as a second five. Possibly this was due to his blood, and another might not have been as fortunate, but it is what it was, a complete contrast to how Hodge was used in Australia, were he could have had any position he wanted. When it comes down to it though, much like these young fellas, it will be about what they want, and I think you’ll find they’ll be like Hodge and just want to be as valuable to the team as they can and play wherever. It’s not like 63 International Cap is a hard thing to live with as a result of that decision!

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