In order to make history, the Welsh Rugby Union has hired Abi Tierney as their first female chief executive officer.

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) has made Abi Tierney the first woman to ever hold the post of chief executive officer by appointing her to this job.

Over the course of the last three years, Tierney has held the position of director general at both the HM Passport Office and the UK Visas and Immigration Department. He has previously held both of these roles at the same time.

In January 2023, Steve Phillips stepped down as head of the WRU after charges of sexism inside the organization. These allegations were the outcome of an investigation that took place in Wales. As of recently, Tierney has taken over as head of the WRU, succeeding Steve Phillips in that post.

She said that she is “delighted” to have this opportunity and that she is “pleased” to have the chance to “have a lasting positive influence at such a crucial era.” She also expressed her “satisfaction” at having the ability to “have a lasting, helpful effect at such a vital period.”

Nigel Walker, who had been working in an interim position, was just recently named the first executive director of rugby for the WRU.

It would be the second significant appointment after Richard Collier-Keywood became the first WRU independent chair when he succeeded the elected Ieuan Evans.

Prior to the end of the current calendar year, it is anticipated that Tierney will launch her career in her newly acquired role.

The collier selection of Abi is something that Keywood sees as a major victory for Welsh rugby, and I agree with him on that point.

“She has effectively worked in both the commercial and governmental sectors, during which time she has successfully generated economic value and altered the culture of some extremely tough companies”

The fact that she has made it her mission in life to “place consumers at the center of all that we do” is a source of inspiration for everyone in Wales who enjoys watching rugby, especially because she has dedicated her whole life to achieving this goal.

Who exactly is this Abi Tierney that everyone seems to be talking about?

In June of 2023, Tierney received a promotion that allowed her to take on the job of ethical advisor for the Home Office. This new position was in addition to her previous one as director general supervising customer services.

Tierney held the position of business development director at Serco Health for a number of years before beginning her career in the government. During that time, she worked for a number of years. She was accountable for providing Serco Health with strategic guidance that would help the expansion of the business as part of the obligations that came with the role she held there.

In addition to that, she was liable for a diverse selection of operational tasks at Serco, including the roles of regional director and chief executive officer of Suffolk Community Services.

Tierney was the marketing leader for IBM’s worldwide services division before he became a director at University Hospitals of Leicester and Aberdeen City Council. He also served as a director at Aberdeen City Council. His previous work experience includes stints at the University Hospitals of Leicester and the Aberdeen City Council. Additionally, throughout a portion of his career, Tierney served as a director for the Aberdeen City Council.

Her father was a member of the Glamorgan Wanderers and the Barry teams, and she has characterized working with the WRU as an “immense delight” in previous statements. Her father played on each of those teams throughout her childhood.

She went on to say that “My enthusiasm and devotion for this profession is evident” and that “having grown up in a family where rugby has been a consistent and beneficial part in our lives, I feel a wonderful feeling of pride.” She concluded by saying that “My passion and commitment to this profession is apparent.”

The game of rugby has the potential to help players grow both emotionally and professionally, both on and off the field, and to provide them with possibilities in their personal and professional lives. It is my goal, now that I am in this position, to make use of that tradition in addition to the expertise and experience that I have accumulated during the course of my career in order to bring about the substantial cultural shift that is necessary for Welsh rugby. This advancement is because the culture of Welsh rugby is so far behind that it is responsible for the cultural gap.

My experience of having a good impact on the corporate culture of the businesses for which I’ve worked demonstrates that I am a strong candidate for this role. I pledge to do all in my power, at every level of Welsh rugby, to foster a sense of belonging, trust, mutual understanding, and support for one another among the players and coaches.

Reorganization of the World Rugby Union

After the accusations of misogyny and sexism in Welsh rugby’s governing body were brought to light by a BBC Wales Investigates investigation, Phillips resigned from her position as head of the WRU, and Walker was appointed to the role of temporary head of the organization. The inquiry also led to charges of misogyny and sexism in Welsh rugby’s governing body. Phillips’ decision to step down as interim leader of the group resulted in Walker being thrust into that role against his will.

Walker, a former player for Wales who played internationally, had at one point indicated an interest in the permanent post, but he insists that he gave up that goal “at an early stage.” Walker was a participant in international competitions. Walker represented Wales in international competitions.

At an extraordinary general meeting in March 2023, Walker and Evans, the previous leader of the WRU, campaigned for governance modernization, which was eventually approved by a majority vote of 97%. Because of this, Collier-Keywood was able to get the position he had been looking for and become its new employee.

Walker was also involved in the process of negotiating a new Professional Rugby Agreement (PRA) for a period of six years with the four regional teams in Wales, and he aided the WRU in navigating the process of an independent review task force at the current time. Both of these activities took place simultaneously.

Dame Anne Rafferty, a former judge who is now better known by her title of Dame Anne Rafferty, has been presiding over an inquiry into the conduct of the WRU since the beginning of February. The investigation is looking into whether or not the WRU engaged in any improper behavior.

Maggie Alphonsi, a former England international who also won the World Cup, and Quentin Smith, a mediator who served as the president of Sale Sharks and is now the head of the Football Association’s exceptions panel, are two of the other members of the panel. Quentin Smith is now the chair of the Football Association’s exceptions panel.

The WRU has said that the findings and proposals made in earlier reviews would be utilized to lead the probe; however, the new task force will not be required to do work that has already been completed.

It will be the responsibility of the committee to provide a report as well as to make recommendations, both of which will have their whole made public.

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