Assembly members call for review of WRU governance

The BBC are emphasising First Minister Carwyn Jones’ offer to mediate between the WRU and the Regions in their ongoing bitter dispute over the future of our professional game.

However, the real story of today’s debate in the Senedd is that opposition AMs were united in a call for a thorough, independent review of the governance of the WRU. That piece of information, which should make very uncomfortable reading for WRU CEO Roger Lewis, is buried in the BBC piece, several paragraphs down.

Unlike the First Minister who only turned up for the last five minutes, I was in the Senedd to listen to all of today’s debate. I was horrified by the lack of knowledge of the basic issues displayed by most of the Assembly members who spoke. However, one AM had clearly done her homework.


Bethan Jenkins of Plaid Cymru had taken the time to speak to all the parties involved: the WRU, the regions and the supporters.  She had clearly done her research and returned to her theme of governance several times during the debate.

The rest of the speakers spent most of their allocated slots either reminiscing about watching rugby, or expressing their heartfelt – albeit bleeding obvious – hope that the WRU and RRW could come to an agreement for the benefit of Welsh rugby as a whole. Blah blah blah. Other AMs, on the whole, contributed the sum total of nothing to the debate.

Mike Hedges (Labour) rambled through a confused rant against the regions, citing recent match results as reason to look at an alternative.  What Hedges and his ilk fail to recognise is that the regions have been very successful in the Celtic League and Anglo-Welsh cup. Their contribution to the last eight years of unprecedented success of the national side should be obvious to anyone who understands how professional sport works.

What is most worrying is that we allow our elected representatives to debate important issues like this without many of them appearing to have done any research whatsoever.



3 thoughts on “Assembly members call for review of WRU governance”

  1. You have to laugh at politicians. How would a corporate governance review of the Welsh Rugby Union help with reducing the “structural funding gap” in Welsh regional rugby identified by Price Waterhouse Coopers?

    The fundamental problem is that, even with £6-7 million of player release and related funding from the Welsh Rugby Union, the regional benefactors are still having to cover losses in the millions. A new business model is required, as the current business model will come under more and more stress from the rich French club game.

  2. Welsh Rugby and Male voice choirs is what Wales is predominantly famous for world wide. This issue between the WRU and the Regions does need to be settled fast as we approach the opening game of the Six Nations our boys need to be focused on the game not have a political cloud constantly overshadowing them. The WRU need to do whatever it takes to keep our boys in the regional teams so it draws the crowds in to bring more money into the game. Short term loss for long term gain@! Not rocket science is it!!
    I have had the good fortune to speak with Bethan Jenkins AM on issues she supports and always found that she clearly researches her subject and becomes passionate about the cause – refreshing!!

  3. “Politicians in clueless shite-talking shocker!” (Bethan Jenkins aside, of course). Bloody typical of the BBC to conveniently gloss over the Plaid Cymru-led calls for a review of the governance of the WRU. Good article – thanks for covering the debate!

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