Liza Burgess: Ex-Wales captain to join WRU board as first elected woman director

Liza Burgess
Liza Burgess made her debut in 1980 in Wales' first women's Test match and won 93 caps

Ex-Wales captain Liza Burgess is set to become the first woman to be elected to the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) board.

Burgess is the only candidate standing to replace WRU director Anthony Buchanan.

WRU chairman Gareth Davies said: "This is a truly historic moment for the good governance of our game."

Another appointment sees Wales and British and Irish Lions legend Gerald Davies succeeding Dennis Gethin as WRU president.

In 2015 the WRU co-opted businesswoman Aileen Richards to its board and Burgess will become the first woman member elected to it.

WRU member clubs elected Burgess to the 17-strong WRU council and she will now be confirmed on the 12-member board, which directs the governing body's policies.

The WRU also has a nine-strong professional executive board, made up of chief executive Martyn Phillips and leading paid employees including Julie Paterson.

Gareth Davies is delighted at Burgess' move, having previously urged clubs to increase diversity on the traditionally male-dominated governing body council.

"It's a moment we have worked towards and one which we must continue to work towards recreating, again and again, as we strive to increase and diversify the pool of talent which represents our great clubs at board level," added the former Cardiff, Wales and Lions fly-half after the WRU's annual general meeting.

Burgess' role will be confirmed when the new WRU council meets on Tuesday, 19 November.

Speaking to BBC Sport Wales, she said: "It's a really exciting opportunity and I'm really looking forward to taking the role on."

In 2018 Burgess was the first Welsh woman to be inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame.

But she admits while playing she never considered going on to be a governing body official.

"It wasn't something I even thought about all those years ago," said Burgess, who has coached Wales Women Under-20s and Barbarians Women.

"It just goes to show what great opportunities exist, not only for myself but for women in sport to show that it can happen.

"And we've got these role models now that young girls can look up to and think there is an opportunity for me within Welsh rugby."

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