The Welsh Rugby Union have made a swift change atop of their organisation as Chairman Ieaun Evans has been replaced by Richard Collier-Keywood.
Evans departure follows a vote that took place back in March that confirmed the Union would undergo a major overhaul.
The changes are in response to allegations of sexism and misogyny within the organisation, with 90% of rugby clubs voting in favour of the changes.
In a statement from the WRU, the organisation credited Mr Evans with ‘modernising’ the Union and said he had been a key figure in choosing his replacement.
“Evans led a campaign for modernisation in the governance structure of the WRU from the outset of his own appointment as Chair in November 2022 and this move is very much part of that plan.”
Releasing a statement of his own, the former Welsh internationals Evans said, “This new Chair appointment is a trigger for everything else that we have been campaigning for in terms of modernising the Welsh Rugby Union and so, despite the fact that it means stepping down myself, I am delighted to be handing over to Richard [Collier-Keywood].”
Adding that he felt the change was a key moment in Welsh Rugby, “This is a critical moment as we create a Board composition to drive the game and the organisation forward.” Evans Said.
Taking on the role at a difficult time for the Union, Evans was all too aware of the challenges ahead of him.
“I took over during a difficult period for our game but, together with my colleagues on the Board, we have driven through modernisation to our governance which will pay us dividends long into the future.” Evans concluded.
Paying tribute to his predecessor incoming Chariman Collier-Keywood said, “I know Ieuan has been an advocate for change and modernisation since he joined the Board, but he relentlessly campaigned since his appointment as chair in 2022 and he will be rightly credited in the history books as the man who modernised Welsh rugby’s governance structure.”
Discussing the vote that took place in March, Collier-Keywood said, “Member clubs voted through Ieuan’s proposals and the whole game deserves credit for the point we have reached today, but Ieuan and his Board have been the catalyst for change.
“Ieuan has led on many positive changes for Welsh rugby including the progress that has been made in the professional game and we remain committed to the success of our professional teams and to sustainability across the game in Wales.
“The onus now is on those of us joining the Board to continue this work.”
In addition to the claims of sexism there were threats of strike action being taken by players due to the uncertainty surrounding contracts.
Since then several top line Welsh internationals have taken up contracts overseas making many of them ineligible for the national team under the current rules.