WRU appoints first female board member

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The Welsh Rugby Union has appointed a first woman board member in its 134-year history.

Aileen Richards, executive vice-president and vice-president of people and organisation for multi-national company Mars, will fill one of two new independent non-executive director roles, the WRU announced.

She will be joined by former Cardiff back-row forward Tim Griffin, who is chief executive officer of Dell UK.

Richards, who is currently based in the United States, is retiring from her role with Mars and returning to London. She is a debenture ticket holder at the Millennium Stadium.

The new board appointments follow a decision at the last WRU annual general meeting to introduce a series of changes to the Union's governance.

WRU chairman Gareth Davies said: "The appointment of Aileen and Tim as independent non-executive directors is a landmark decision in the evolution and modernisation of our governance.

"They are both exceptionally-qualified individuals with vast expertise and experience at the highest levels of industry.

"The appointment of Aileen as the first woman to sit on the board of the WRU demonstrates that we are determined to modernise and become representative of our supporters in our corporate governance."

Richards added: "I am delighted to be the first woman to be appointed to the board of the Welsh Rugby Union in its 134-year history.

"This non-executive role is the perfect conduit to focus my love of rugby, pride in being Welsh and desire to contribute to life in Wales.

"I am committed to making a difference around the board table, and it is equally gratifying to be joining the WRU at this exciting stage of its corporate development."