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WRU Independent Review Panel confirmed

WRU Independent Review Panel confirmed

Sport Resolutions, who will administer the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) Independent Review, have confirmed the personnel chosen for the review panel.

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The independent review panel will be chaired by SR panel member and former Court of Appeal judge Dame Anne Rafferty DBE PC.

She will be joined by former international rugby union player Maggie Alphonsi MBE and SR panel member and mediator Quentin Smith. Public lawyer David Lawson of Serjeant’s Inn will act as Counsel to the Inquiry.

A Commissioning Advisory Group (CAG) has also been established to support the Review, comprising of Henry Englehardt as a representative from the WRU and Emma Wilkins as a representative from Sport Wales.

Louise Reilly, a sport-specialist barrister, will act as a third independent member nominated by Sport Resolutions. The role of the CAG is to monitor progress and consider and reflect on the Terms of Reference in response to emerging findings of the Panel.

The independent review began on February 13, and will consider the period from 2017 to the present, however emerging evidence may prompt the Chair to adapt the timeframe. It is investigating allegations of sexism, misogyny, homophobia and racism and will also examine the organisational culture and behaviours of leadership at all levels at the WRU.

The Independent Review Panel is grateful to the people who have already started to send information to the review team. The Panel wants to encourage contributions to the Review and will make the process as easy as possible for each individual. The Panel would also welcome contact and contributions from those who wish to remain anonymous.

For individuals who wish to contribute to and/or engage with the Review, they are able to contact the Sport Resolutions administrative team via the dedicated email address of wru@sportresolutions.com.

Further announcements will be made in the next weeks about the approach and progress of the review.

To view the independent panel members’ biographies and the Terms of Reference document please visit https://www.sportresolutions.com/services/wru-review .

The Terms of Reference can be found via the related documents tab on the right-hand side of the above link.

Independent Panel Members Biographies

Dame Anne Rafferty DBE PC (Chair)

Dame Anne Rafferty practised in criminal law until she became a Queen’s Bench Division High Court judge in 2000. She was the first female Chair of the Criminal Bar Association (1995-1997), chaired the Judicial College (2014 – 2020) and was Vice Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission (2017 – 2020). She served as a Lady Justice of Appeal between 2011 and 2020. In 2014 she was appointed Chancellor of the University of Sheffield.

Maggie Alphonsi MBE (Panel Member)

Maggie Alphonsi MBE played rugby for Saracens and England. She won 74 caps, including being part of a winning Rugby World Cup team. She was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in November 2016. Was the first women to be awarded the Rugby Union Writers’ Pat Marshall Award in 2010. She is a well-known sports commentator and works with a number of charities and businesses in employability, mental wellness and education. She frequently speaks on business skills, leadership and high performance. Maggie has also previously sat on various boards, committees and advisory groups within sport.

Quentin Smith (Panel Member)

Quentin Smith has been an independent mediator since 2007and is listed in the top band for Mediators in Chambers Legal Guide and Legal 500. He was Chair of Sale Sharks Rugby Union Club (2000 – 2010) and then Chair of Premiership Rugby (2010 – 2016). He was alternate Chair of the Professional Game Board and a Director of England Rugby 2015 Limited which delivered the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

Quentin currently chairs The Football Association’s Exceptions Panel (from 2015) and is Chair of the Professional Football Negotiating and Consultative Committee, comprising the English Football League, the Premier League, the Professional Footballers’ Association and The Football Association (from 2019). He is the Chair of Wooden Spoon, the children’s charity of rugby (from 2017).
Quentin was a solicitor and partner in two major law firms, specialising in commercial/insurance litigation, professional negligence and mediation (1985 – 2007). He was Head of the Safety, Health and Environment Unit and Chair of the Sports Business Group.

David Lawson (Counsel to the Inquiry)

David is a public lawyer at Serjeants’ Inn Chambers. He has represented participants in a number of public inquiries, including the Infected Blood Inquiry and The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse as well as working on a number of private inquiries. His regulatory work includes all areas of public services as well as educational and sports bodies. He regularly acts in judicial review claims and medical ethical cases.

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