Ospreys appoint Debra Williams as non-executive director

Debra Williams has been appointed to the board of the holding company of the Ospreys.

Neath-born businesswoman Debra Williams has been appointed as a non-executive director of Ospreys.

She is the first woman to hold a director's role at a Welsh region, and thought to be among the first in British rugby.

Williams was previously managing director of Confused.com and a director of Tesco Compare.

"[I] am really excited about the challenges that lie ahead for the organisation," she said.

"With my commercial experience and my record for generating growth, I believe I can help the board in their efforts to make the business sustainable, which is crucial in trying economic times."

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First female director for rugby club

Williams will take up her position at Llandarcy Park (Ospreys) Ltd, the holding company of Ospreys Rugby.

Ospreys chairman Geoff Atherton welcomed the appointment, saying Williams's skills will help the Ospreys achieve long-term sustainability.

"While we already have individuals on board with both business and rugby expertise, it is important to recognise we do not hold all the answers and the appointment of Debra is a huge stride forward," he said.

"She brings her undoubted commercial expertise to the organisation, along with an outstanding business track record, and has a big role to play as we move forward, offering strategic and tactical advice to the board."

Williams was Welsh Woman of the Year for Innovation in 2006 and recognised as one of the UK's top 200 business women by the Queen in February 2007.

A passionate rugby fan who grew up supporting Neath RFC at the Gnoll, Williams still lives in her home-town while consulting with companies across the UK and in Europe.