The in-tray new WRU chair Richard Collier-Keywood found on his desk today

The in-tray new WRU chair Richard Collier-Keywood found on his desk today

The Welsh Rugby Union’s new independent chair Richard Collier-Keywood starts his new job at the helm of Welsh rugby today.

Collier-Keywood replaces Wales legend Ieuan Evans as the first appointed chair of the WRU, and he joins an organisation which has been rocked by scandal over the past year while both the professional and amateur levels of the game are in a precarious position. The barrister and former senior adviser to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is well qualified for the role but faces a tough task getting Welsh rugby back on the right track.

WalesOnline take a look at the key areas he will need to address.

Putting together a strong board

Given the WRU have been searching for a permanent chief executive since Steve Phillips stepped down in January, one would assume this is at the top of Collier-Keywood’s to-do list. It’s stating the obvious to say appointing a CEO is vitally important but this time it really is critical.

As exclusively reported by WalesOnline, interim CEO Nigel Walker is set to miss out on the job, with the WRU expected to go in a different direction.

With a taskforce led by Dame Anne Rafferty set up to report on allegations of misogyny and sexism within the WRU, along with the poor state of the professional game, the wrong appointment could have catastrophic consequences. Collier-Keywood needs someone at the helm who can grow the union’s revenue streams who is also able to create an inclusive culture.

The feeling within the game is Welsh rugby is at a tipping point, so ideally the next CEO needs to be prepared to make some tough and unpleasant decis

…. to be continued
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