Gareth Davies: Outgoing WRU chairman hopes to continue World Rugby position

Gareth Davies played 21 times for Wales between 1978 and 1985
Gareth Davies played 21 times for Wales between 1978 and 1985

Outgoing Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) chairman Gareth Davies hopes to continue his position on World Rugby’s executive committee.

Davies, 65, will officially leave his WRU position at the annual general meeting (AGM) on 28 October after losing the National Council member election to Ieuan Evans.

“It’s up to the Union,” Davies told BBC Radio Cymru.

“I’d hope to be in a position to stay on World Rugby’s executive committee.

“If I don’t then I don’t think Wales will be represented there.”

In April 2020, Davies was re-elected to 12-strong World Rugby’s executive committee, a role that originated because of his WRU position.

That World Rugby role could end after Davies unsuccessfully stood to be a National Council member for a third term, having initially been elected to that role ahead of becoming chairman in October 2014.

To be on the World Rugby executive committee, people first need to be on the global governing body’s council which has three WRU board representatives with Davies currently joined by Julie Paterson and Rob Butchers.

All appointments to external rugby organisations, such as the World Rugby council, are determined at the WRU board’s discretion and reviewed annually after the AGM.

Any final decision on whether Davies stays on as a World Rugby council member, despite no longer being a WRU National Council member or chairman, will be made by the WRU board after 28 October.

So Davies knows he would need to continue as one of the three WRU-appointed representatives on World Rugby council of 52 to remain on the executive committee.

If the former Wales captain was replaced on World Rugby’s council there is no guarantee the WRU will have a future member on the executive committee top table.

This comprises of chairman Bill Beaumont, vice-chairman Bernard Laporte, chief executive Brett Gosper and Mark Alexander, Khaled Babbou, Bart Campbell, Davies, John Jeffrey, Bob Latham, Brett Robinson, Wales-born independent member Lord Mervyn Davies and Angela Ruggiero.

Gareth Davies believes the WRU has enjoyed an enhanced global reputation during his tenure.

“We changed a few things quite quickly inside the Union in terms of how we dealt with and treated people,” said Davies.

“Whether that was the clubs or the media or even other Unions across the world, I think the WRU’s relationship was not at its best six years ago.

“I’ve had a lot of people talking and writing to me to say the WRU is now viewed as strong partners in discussion, whether that’s Six Nations or on World Rugby.

“So I think our reputation is more positive around the world than what it was.”

BBC News