Gareth Davies: WRU chairman urges clubs to re-elect him

Gareth Davies
Gareth Davies

Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) chairman Gareth Davies has urged the country's clubs to keep him as a national director to provide stability.

Former Wales internationals Ieuan Evans and Nigel Davies are to stand against Davies for a place on the governing body's National Council.

Davies has written to clubs suggesting why he should be elected for a third term.

The former Wales fly-half has been chairman since 2014.

Davies wrote: "I am appealing to member clubs to vote for me to retain my position as a nationally appointed director of the WRU because I firmly believe at a time like this we need steady hands on the tiller.

"Voting for me would be a vote for stability, continuity and the long-term security of our national game, and for someone who has been in the arena for the past six exciting years.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has shaken the foundations of the world game at their core and Welsh rugby has felt a destabilising wave of uncertainty measuring higher on the Richter Scale than anything gone before.

"I have been proud to be your chairman in these difficult times but we are not out of the woods yet."

The National Council member will be elected by more than 300 member clubs at the annual general meeting scheduled for October.

Davies believes continuity is required with chief executive Martyn Phillips set to leave his role at the AGM.

Phillips was initially due to leave earlier this year but stayed on because of the Covid-19 crisis.

"I do wish to draw your attention to the fact that more change is to come," said Davies.

"It has been to Martyn's great credit and Welsh rugby's benefit he has stayed on during the summer months to help guide us all through an unprecedented health crisis.

"The search for his successor is currently ongoing, the process is going well. The standard of individuals who would like to hold the position of WRU CEO is high and I am confident we will appoint someone of the highest calibre.

"This individual's start date, depending on notice periods and other logistical issues is likely to be at, or soon after, the AGM in October and there are plans in place to manage this transition as seamlessly as possible."

Davies has indicated he is also willing to stay on as chairman for up to 18 months if he is re-elected as a national council member.

This would require special dispensation because under changes he advocated to WRU governance, a chairman can only serve two terms of three years and Davies is coming towards the end of a six-year stint.

For him to stay on as chairman, a change to standing orders would have to be approved by the WRU's board of directors.

Davies also wants to be re-elected to maintain his position within the World Rugby organisation.

"At World Rugby level, I have been privileged to sit on the executive committee for the world game since 2018," he added.

"This is the key decision-making body at the heart of developing strategy for the world game and I hope member clubs are reassured in the knowledge Welsh rugby's voice continues to be heard at this most senior of tables.

"I am proud of this appointment and believe it is in the best interests of Welsh rugby that I remain in this role, something that will only be possible if I am re-elected.

"This is not a position for a Welsh representative, but earned through the respect of the rugby-playing nations of the world who re-elected me some months ago."

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