Calls for Welsh Rugby Union Chief Executive to resign following sexism allegations

Calls for Welsh Rugby Union Chief Executive to resign following sexism allegations
Neasa Kennedy
Neasa Kennedy

Allegations of sexism and discrimination have emerged against the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) after several former WRU employees spoke in a BBC Wales investigation, which was screened on Monday night.

One of those who spoke out was Charlotte Wathan, general manager of women's rugby until her resignation last February, who expressed that offensive comments were made to her by a colleague which left feeling physically sick and in tears.

On one occasion, a male colleague said in front of others in an office that he wanted to "rape" her.

Another contributor to the investigation, who remained anonymous, expressed she had suicidal thoughts after her experience of harrassment, sexism and bullying in the workplace.


Incidents of homophobia and racism have also been alleged.


A leading sponsor of the WRU, Principality Building Society, have described the allegations as "extremely concerning" stating:

"The allegations in the emerging BBC investigation are extremely concerning and we would expect the WRU to take the immediate and decisive action required to remove any discriminatory and bullying behaviours and to uphold the inclusive values that we should all live by.”

Another long-term WRU partner, Heineken, echoed this stating they were "extremely concerned" by the claims.

Sport Wales, the national organisation responsible for developing and promoting sport and physical activity in Wales, also called for urgent action.

"Sport is for everyone, with no exception, which is why we have been shocked and saddened to hear the serious allegations made against the WRU," said acting chief executive officer Brian Davies.

Former Sport Wales boss Huw Jones has also voiced his condemnation stating that the Welsh parliament must investigate alleged "deep rooted" cultural issues.

"What we've heard is horrific and ultimately depressing when you look at the fact the board [of the WRU] will probably do nothing about it," he told BBC Radio Wales.

"They will try to sit it out, hope the Six Nations is successful and everybody forgets about it, a storm in a tea cup."

"Should heads roll over this? Absolutely." 

Several Welsh rugby clubs have also issued strong statements.

Cardiff Rugby said they are “distressed and appalled by allegations of discrimination and misogyny at the Welsh Rugby Union, revealed by a BBC Wales investigation.

“There is no place in sport, or indeed anywhere in society, for discrimination of any kind, and Cardiff Rugby condemn the reported culture within our national governing body."

The Ospreys joined Cardiff in it's stance over the allegations saying they are “absolutely committed to equality and strongly condemn discrimination in sport or society. The allegations made in the documentary highlight the unquestionable urgency for change and reaffirm previous calls to transform and evolve the WRU and its governance structure.”.

Llantwit Fadre RFC, amongst others, have also released letters that they have sent to Welsh Rugby Union Chair, Mr Ieuan Evans.

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