Amanda Blanc: Aviva chief says that she quit Welsh rugby after being ‘not listened to’

Amanda Blanc
Amanda Blanc joined Aviva on July 2020 and became the company's first female chief executives.

Aviva's chief executive has spoken out about the reasons she resigned as chair of both the Professional Rugby Board and the Welsh Rugby Union board.

Amanda Blanc stated that she wasn't being listened to by BBC Wales Live and that the WRU needed “modernisation”.

She stood down in November 2021 After serving less than two decades as the chair of PRB (which includes members of WRU and each of Wales’ four regional sides),

At the time, no explanation was provided.

Ms Blanc said that her departure was the first time she had spoken to Wales Live.

“If you feel like that isn’t being listened too, then you can move on.

“The Welsh Rugby Union needs modernization in its governance, that's what I would conclude.”

“You can see that there are two distinct areas to a game: the community and the professional. You know that the professional game must have the right governance.”

Malcolm Wall succeeded Ms Blanc, who confirmed that it was her decision.

She said that she wished Malcolm all the best in his search to save the WRU, but she also stated that it was time for change.

Blanc was also concerned about the desire of rugby-loving communities in Wales.

She added, “Look at the women’s game as an example.”

“Take that game seriously, and make sure you get the necessary investment.

“I believe those are all things that are perfectly within reach of the Welsh Rugby Union's gift to fix.”

‘Not dinosaurs'

Blanc answered the question “I don't think they are dinosaurs” when Blanc was asked if the WRU board was obsolete or dinosaur-like.

“But there were also many non-business background people on that and I think if you have a £100m revenue business you need the appropriate governance.

“Everybody must want to do this, not just one person. Everyone must see the need for change, and be willing to make that change.

The WRU and four Welsh regional teams, Scarlets Cardiff Ospreys, Ospreys, and Dragons, are represented in the PRB.

Blanc said, “I loved being the chair of the Professional Rugby Board.”

“Working with the regions of Wales, they were very professional and we had to go through a hard time with Covid.”

WRU spokeswoman said that Amanda is still respected and thanked for her contribution to PRB and WRU boards.

“All aspects of WRU's investment into rugby are extremely important. In addition, in accordance with best practice, WRU will always continue to review its governance.”

You can also watch Wales Live on BBC One Wales at 2:35 BST Wednesday 15 June, or on iPlayer.

Leave a Comment