Welsh Rugby Union investigation: Who is on the review panel and what are they looking at?

The Welsh Rugby Union is under investigation

The panel that will conduct an independent review of the Welsh Rugby Union has been confirmed.

The scope for their investigation has also been set.

In January, a series of allegations of misogyny, bullying and racism were made against the organisation. In the wake of them, CEO Steve Phillips resigned from his post, though none of the allegations related specifically to him.

CEO Steve Phillips resigned from his post though none of the allegations related specifically to him.

His successor, Nigel Walker and new Chair Ieuan Evans were left to deal with the crisis that engulfed the Union and an independent review was commissioned.

That review began in mid-February but now the panel has been confirmed to join the terms of reference.

The Welsh Rugby Union has committed to implementing whatever recommendations arise from the investigation.

  • Who is on the panel?

The panel member who will be most familiar to rugby fans is Maggie Alphonsi, the former England international.

Alphonsi earned 74 caps for her country, won the Rugby World Cup and was inducted into the Rugby Hall of Fame in 2016.

Joining her on the panel is Quentin Smith, who has been an independent mediator since 2007 and is listed in the top band for Mediators in Chambers Legal Guide and Legal 500.

Smith is the former Chair of Sale Sharks and Premiership Rugby. He currently chairs the Football Association's Exceptions Panel and is Chair of the Professional Football Negotiating and Consultative Committee.

Public lawyer David Lawson will act as Counsel to the inquiry.

  • What is the scope of the review?

The panel will be investigating allegations of sexism, misogyny, homophobia and racism and will also examine the organisational culture and behaviours of leadership at all levels at the WRU.

Nigel Walker (R) was appointed as interim chief executive

They will also look at the extent to which employees feel able to voice concerns or to challenge inappropriate and discriminatory language and behaviour and the effectiveness of the WRU’s Whistleblowing Policy and Procedures.

Finally, the WRU’s actions in response to individual complaints set out in the BBC Wales Investigates in January.

The focus of the investigation will be from 2017 to present day but this timeframe may change depending on the findings.

  • What's the Commissioning Advisory Group?

This is comprised of representatives from the Welsh Rugby Union, Sport Wales and a third independent member nominated by Sport Resolutions.

The WRU's rep is Independent Non-Executive Director Henry Engelhardt, Sport Wales' rep is Emma Wilkins and the Sport Resolutions nomination is Louise Reilly.

The Advisory Group's role is to advise on the makeup and remit of the Independent Review Panel and to monitor the progress of the investigation while considering the Terms of Reference.

The Review Panel will report progress to the WRU and the CAG on a monthly basis.