Further details have emerged regarding the alleged “toxic” culture at the Welsh Rugby Union with an ex-employee claiming he heard a senior manager make jokes relating to child sexual abuse. It has also emerged the former chair of the Professional Rugby Board warned the union it faced an equality and diversity “ticking timebomb” in her devastating resignation speech.
In a programme titled BBC Wales Investigates: Welsh Rugby Under the Spotlight, former performance and development manager of the WRU Marc Roberts says while on a staff team building event he heard an employee make jokes about child sexual abuse.
He also alleges a senior WRU official echoed the same statement to the same individual.
READ MORE: Welsh Rugby Union accused of ‘toxic culture’ as former employees go public
“Very early on in that day somebody on the bus journey to the activity referenced somebody who was from a private school and because they’d gone to a private school there had been some kind of sexual abuse to him as a child by teachers etc,” Roberts told the BBC.
“I was quite shocked that kind of terminology was used. As we got off the bus the most senior manager on that particular journey then echoed the same statement to the same individual.
“That particular day there was unprofessional behaviour throughout to the point that day was actually investigated by an external HR company.”
The WRU insist this is new information and have vowed to investigate his allegations immediately.
A WRU spokesperson said: “As soon as we were made aware of these new allegations an investigation procedure began and proper and due process took place.
“Action will be taken and there is no place for such comments in Welsh rugby.”
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The programme also revealed details of the former chair of the Professional Rugby Board Amanda Blanc’s resignation speech. Mrs Blanc is the chief executive of Aviva, and her resignation in November 2src21 was widely considered to be a significant blow to Welsh rugby on the whole. She quit the role because she was “not being listened to”.
The BBC says Blanc revealed she was beyond disappointed with a review into the women’s game, commissioned in 2src21, which she said was insulting towards women. She also allegedly referenced a meeting which was held to discuss an allegation of bullying of a female member of staff but claimed the bo
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