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WRU 'turned a blind eye' to woes admit Chiefs

NEWS UPDATE: Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) chiefs have admitted being in “denial” over the extent of sexism and misogyny in the organisation and said warning signs were missed.

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Chairman Ieuan Evans and acting chief executive Nigel Walker appeared before the Welsh Parliament’s culture and sport committee on Thursday.

They were called to give evidence after serious allegations were aired in a BBC programme last week.

The union’s chief executive, Steve Phillips, stepped down at the weekend and an external taskforce has been asked to carry out an independent review.

Evans and Walker accepted there was a problem in the culture of the WRU and said they were committed to implementing all of the recommendations made by the taskforce.

Walker said the review would be led by a woman with judiciary experience, who will be announced later this week.

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“I think in any organisation, especially a large organisation like the Welsh Rugby Union, it’s possible for things to happen over a period of time and for people to turn a blind eye and not to address those problems,” said Walker.

“So the warning signs have been there for quite some time.

“When it’s presented as graphically as it was during that programme it hits you like a 10-tonne truck.”

Walker added: “To be candid, I think as an organisation we’ve been in denial as to the extent of the problem.

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“There have been cases in the past which have been dealt with – in theory, dealt with – and people have moved on. And I think each individual case is an indication that there has been a wider problem but that people have not joined the dots.

Walker confirmed the review’s report and recommendations would be made public.

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