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Tuesday Aug 30, 2022

A culture 'full of fear, silence and bullying' Welsh Rugby Union Under Fire

Facing allegations of a “sexist and toxic” culture, the Welsh Rugby Union will be at the centre of an employment tribunal.

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Already under pressure as they face a court case from 185 players who allege medical negligence which led to life altering brain injuries, the latest allegations facing the WRU are damning to say the least.

Several high-profile figures working in the sport’s coaching, governance and marketing departments have been named as part of tribunal.

It is alleged Hitler and rape jibes were allowed as the governing body fostered a culture of “fear, silence and bullying”.

Reporting in the Telegraph journalist Liz Perkins said that the report which was seen by the telegraph stated, “A senior figure reduced a former employee to tears following a meeting in which he compared her to Hitler, leaving her “shocked and distressed.”

The senior figure would them label the complainant as a “cult leader” before saying “you need to dim your bulb” and “not shine so bright.”

The female complainant said she was exposed to “casual sexism and racism” which include the use of the word “P****” during zoom calls.

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It is also claimed that a senior member of the men’s staff joked about raping the claimant in front of a WRU board member. Whilst a former coach branded young women who were involved in skills training at the National Centre of Excellence in Cardiff as the “C*** Drill”.

Further highlighting the alleged sexist issues within the organisation, another key figure was quoted as saying that the organisation did not need to focus on the professional side of the women’s game.

The claimant who is now an ex-employee of the WRU said she felt “bullied and victimised” in her role as she said, “Everything I did or tried to do came with additional barriers which other male members of staff at a similar level did not encounter.”

Discussing the former Chief Executive Martyn Phillips role, the claimant stated that he sympathised with her and asked “if she felt like she had a target on her back”.

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The WRU have stated that the claims had been investigated by an independent law firm and were not upheld.

In response to the claims, WRU Chief Executive Steve Phillips told the Telegraph Sport that union take the allegations “extremely seriously”.

The WRU is committed to creating an environment where everyone is equally valued, respected and safe. The women’s game is central to our vision for the future of rugby in Wales. On this issue, we will never be complacent.” Phillips said.

 

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