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Welsh Rugby Union appoints Ieuan Evans' successor

By PA
Welsh Rugby Union chairman Ieuan Evans (left) and acting chief executive Nigel Walker during a press conference at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff. Ieuan Evans has vowed to remain as Welsh Rugby Union chair despite allegations of a "toxic culture" at the organisation that resulted in chief executive Steve Phillips' resignation on Sunday. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)

Richard Collier-Keywood has been appointed as the Welsh Rugby Union’s first independent chair.

Collier-Keywood, a former senior adviser to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, will succeed Ieuan Evans in July.

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He becomes the first appointed – rather than elected – WRU chair after a major overhaul of the organisation’s governance was voted through by its member clubs at an extraordinary general meeting in March.

“I am absolutely delighted to accept the role as chair of the WRU,” said Collier-Keywood, a former global vice-chair of PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers).

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“Welsh rugby has always been hugely emotional for me and it is such a strength that there are millions of us that care and feel the same way.”

Collier-Keywood will be joined on the WRU’s new board by fellow independent non-executive director Alison Thorne.

Thorne, who was short-listed for the independent chair role, is currently chair of the National Dance Company Wales.

Evans added: “Our new-look board is beginning to take shape.

“I have every confidence that we will have the diversity of talent and skill-set to ensure our place in the elite women’s and men’s game and to continue to grow and support all sections of our community game, both male and female, when the process is complete.

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“Welsh rugby will be rightly buoyed by these two new appointments, but these are just the first steps.

“Next, we will find our permanent CEO and fill the remaining INED position and vacancies.

“We will assemble a board which stands up to scrutiny and meets the highest standards of the rugby world and one that will make the nation proud in the years ahead.”

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Turlough 4 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

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