Mon, July 31, 2023

An update on the Welsh Rugby Union Independent Review

An update on the Welsh Rugby Union Independent Review

Sport Resolutions administers the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) Independent Review which investigates allegations of sexism, misogyny, homophobia and racism and examines the organisational culture and behaviours of leadership at all levels at the WRU.

The Independent Review Panel to consider the period from 2017 to the present was announced in February 2023. Dame Anne Rafferty DBE chairs it, alongside Maggie Alphonsi MBE and Quentin Smith. Counsel to the Review is David Lawson.

More information on the Panel and the Term of Reference are here

The Panel has issued an update on progress and invites individuals to submit any information they have about the subject of the Review. 

  1. The Panel has made good progress. First, we want to emphasise that we are still keen to hear from anyone with something to say about the Welsh Rugby Union and the subjects of the review. We have approached many people, and people have contacted us about providing information.  We would really like as wide a group as possible to tell us what they think, know and have experienced.  We also encourage people who want to send information anonymously, as some people have already done. All information sent to Sport Resolutions is held by them and not the Welsh Rugby Union. There is a stand-alone and confidential email address as well as an online form to send evidence. If anyone has any questions about how to submit evidence please contact independentpanel@sportresolutions.com and they will help you.
  2. We have met many witnesses and have written evidence from staff and players and former staff and players.  We are arranging more meetings over the summer. Once the full panel was in place in March we asked the WRU for documents and we continue to work on documents and to request documents these refer to.
  3. Past members of staff can speak to us and the WRU has confirmed that it will not see this as a breach of any agreement not to discuss their employment with any third party.
  4. We have met a number of people who have taken a public interest in Welsh Rugby and lots of people who can give us information about particular issues which we can put together to form an overall picture.
  5. We have read or listened to every report and broadcast of potentially analogous reviews, so we can see the WRU as part of a big picture, nationally and internationally. We have, of course, read the Senedd report.
  6. We have heard about:          

           a. Welsh rugby – People have spoken about the growth of women’s rugby, the formation of the national team and the move to professional women’s rugby.  We have heard about the structure of men’s and women’s club rugby and financial issues, including post-pandemic, and the balance between the community game and national teams.
           b. Governance – We have heard about organisational structure and how it relates to management and culture and about past and recent changes.
           c. Employment practices – We have seen the WRU’s employment policies and heard about their implementation. We have also heard about people bringing complaints and grievances and about the use of non-disclosure agreements.
          d. Culture – Lots of people told us about the wider culture in rugby and in the Welsh Rugby Union, including in the community and at a professional level.

7. Of course, there has also been a mass of behind-the-scenes activity – setting up electronic systems, obtaining and reading documents and appointing investigators to help gather evidence.  The experienced and skillful team at Sport Resolutions has been and is a major resource.

8. We will have in mind the forthcoming men’s World Cup in considering when to publish the final report.

To view the independent panel members' biographies and the Terms of Reference document please visit here


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