A major change which brings women’s rugby closer to the heart of the game in Wales has been formally agreed. In the future women’s rugby will be integrated as a part of the Welsh Rugby Union instead of a stand-alone union in its own right.
The Welsh Women’s Rugby Union is being formally disbanded following a unanimous vote by the organisation’s member clubs.
Historically the WWRU has been an associate member of the Welsh Rugby Union with its own constitution and executive committee. The vote allows the WWRU to integrate fully as a WRU department.
Support for the move had already been approved by the WRU Board and the WRU Executive committee but the vote by the member clubs was necessary to green light the change.
Integration has been driven over the past year by the WWRU Manager Jilly Holroyd who said, “I am absolutely delighted that our members have agreed to this move as it is an important step forward for women’s rugby in Wales.
“There are many reasons why it will benefit the women’s game, none more so than a better partnership with the WRU. It also makes financial sense as more money can be spent on the development of the game as opposed to the costs incurred by being a separate organisation.
“Integration has been recommended by the International Rugby Board and by the Sports Council for Wales so it makes perfect sense from an external perspective as well.
“Overall it really helps to legitimise women’s rugby in Wales and give it the rightful place it deserves.”
The WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis commented, “As a governing body it is important we fully represent the interests of everyone involved in developing the game here.
“The growth of women’s rugby in Wales has also helped develop the sport and attract new players and supporters around the world and that fits seamlessly into the aims and beliefs of the Welsh Rugby Union.
“We are all about growth and this move represents our ambition as a union to ensure rugby expands from foundations built from the involvement and support of all the men, women and children of Wales.
“Rugby defines us all as a Nation and we must reflect that by involving as many people as possible in the game under the umbrella of the Welsh Rugby Union.
“The standard of women’s rugby in Wales is already high and the international side is getting better and better each season. A highpoint for me last season was watching the Wales women play France in Paris this year – what a game and what an atmosphere. Women’s rugby is here to stay.”
The WWRU will be officially disbanded on the 31st of August this year for the new operational structure to be in place for the start of the 2007/2008 season.