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Premiership to 'strengthen governance' with new Sporting Commission

NEWS: Premiership Rugby confirmed the launch of the newly-formed Sporting Commission to help transform and strengthen its governance.


This new group, chaired by Nigel Melville, features four leading independent figures from the world of sport and business.

Senior football executive Jane Purdon, Ministry of Justice board member Mark Rawlinson, portfolio Non-Executive Director Carys Williams, as well as former England and Northampton Saints captain Tom Wood have all been appointed.

Premiership Rugby chief executive Simon Massie-Taylor and Rugby Director Phil Winstanley complete the seven-person panel.

As part of its remit the Sporting Commission will now rule over matters such as the season structure, Premiership Rugby regulations and player loading, amongst others.

The Sporting Commission will have full delegated authority from the PRL Board to decide on matters relating to sporting and regulatory issues – as well as impose sanctions in accordance with Premiership Rugby regulations.

Melville, who is also Chairman of the Premiership Rugby Investor Board, said: “I am delighted to welcome Jane, Mark, Carys and Tom onto the Sporting Commission alongside Simon and Phil.


“Putting together this innovative new group has been possible thanks to the efforts and support of our Premiership Rugby clubs.

“Our goal has always been to strengthen our governance and make internal decision-making more agile, whilst also bringing about greater independence to any contentious issues.”

Premiership Rugby CEO, Massie-Taylor added: “Launching the Sporting Commission is a landmark moment for Premiership Rugby as we transform our ways of working.

“Improving our governance structures with independent thinking and scrutiny is key to strong foundations and our future success.


“And I would like thank Jane, Mark, Carys and Tom for agreeing to be part of Premiership Rugby for this crucial next period.

“Having already met as a group, it is clear that the energy and expertise of our independent experts will help Premiership Rugby deliver change.”

About the Sporting Commission

The objectives of the Sporting Commission are to ensure that decision-making on sporting and regulatory matters:

  • Operates in the best interests of the league as a whole and independent from the clubs
  • Upholds the values of integrity, openness, and accountability
  • Promotes long-term growth of the league for the benefit of fans, players, commercial partners, clubs, investors and potential investors
  • Balances interests including sporting integrity, sustainability, reputation and commercial growth

All members will have one vote and decisions taken by majority vote (four out of seven).

The Commission will meet eight times per year or such other frequency as the Chair shall determine.

The Commission will provide a quarterly update to the PRL Investor Board.

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