As Welsh rugby stares into an abyss of its own making, it’s worth having a quick reminder of the leadership vacuum that helped get us into this doomsday scenario.
Back in December, The East Terrace flagged a young Ieuan Evans’s views on the WRU. They were opinions that in any genuine and competent leader would only have hardened over the last couple of decades.
We hoped members of the (until now mainly sleeping) Welsh media would have put these words and their context to Evans when he successfully won the vote to be chairman of the WRU. A vote he won by appealing to the very ‘small clubs’ he used to be so frustrated with.
Alas, it didn’t happen.
But when Ieuan Evans and Nigel Walker were called in to face a Senedd committee after the accusations of sexism, racism and misogyny within the WRU, his words were finally put to him. He did not respond well.
It was a bad few weeks for Evans, who had responded to the BBC investigation into WRU culture by backing Steve Phillips to get through it all. Evans’s “loyalty” to Phillips spoke volumes about his lack of real desire to make any change at the WRU. Indeed, the fact he hadn’t identified Phillips as CEO as being a major problem for Welsh rugby in general also gave a negative impression about how invested Evans was in the WRU gravy train.
Ahead of the meeting of the Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport, and International Relations Committee on the 2nd of February, we sent our article on Evans to the committee members involved. We were also informed that at least one other person had forwarded our piece on as well.
As a result, Evans was asked about the words in his autobiography on two occasions. None of the questions were really answered either time, but you can watch clips of both here.
It seems that reading out empty platitudes from a piece of paper isn’t the leadership Welsh rugby needs right now.