Judge to chair new rugby board to run Welsh rugby

The four Welsh regional sides

A High Court judge will chair the new body set up to run the professional game in Wales.

Mr Justice Wyn Lewis Williams will sit alongside four members of the Welsh Rugby Union and four representatives from Wales' regional sides on the Professional Regional Game Board.

The board has been established in the wake of a critical report into the way professional rugby is run in Wales.

Justice Williams, born in Ferndale, played for Tylorstown RFC.

The 61-year-old was made a High Court judge in 2007 and joined the International Rugby Board's disciplinary panel in 2012. He plans to undertake his new unpaid role on the PRGB alongside his legal career.

"His status as a High Court judge ensures he takes on this post with a formidable reputation for objectivity, fairness and an undoubted ability to find intelligent solutions to complex problems," said WRU chief executive Roger Lewis.

"His interest in rugby and true understanding of the game at all levels means he brings to the role a real knowledge of the issues which the PRGB will prioritise."

The PRGB has set itself eight definitive objectives, including maximising the performance of national teams, financial management of the regions and to help retain senior Welsh internationals playing in Wales.

The size and immediacy of that final task was emphasised on Thursday when the Dragons revealed they have failed to convince Wales flanker Dan Lydiate to stay with them.

Lydaite, named the 2011 Six Nations player of the tournament, is expected to join a growing band of Wales players plying their trade in France.

A first meeting of the PRGB has been scheduled for December.

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