“Martyn has resolutely and determinedly stepped up to meet the challenges posed to Welsh rugby by the current world health crisis in the last days and weeks and it is a hugely positive development, in these testing times, for us to have mutually agreed for him to stay on for the foreseeable future,” said WRU chairman Gareth Davies.
“He will provide the stability and continuity we will so desperately need to ensure that Welsh rugby, from grassroots right through to the senior international and professional game, navigates these challenges and hits the ground running once this pandemic is over.
“With so many moving parts and so much uncertainty about the immediate future of our game, it is hugely reassuring to now know that we will continue to be in Martyn’s safe hands for as long as is necessary.”
Davies, who had formed a selection panel and instructed recruitment agencies, has paused his search for Phillips’ successor so that all energies can be focussed upon current pressing matters.
“It has been my great privilege to work for Welsh rugby over the last five years and it has become clear to us all, that now is not a good time to begin the transition to a new CEO, so I am only too pleased to continue in the role as we negotiate unprecedented circumstances,” added Phillips.
“Our goal is simple. We have set ourselves the goal to emerge from this crisis with the WRU and all teams and clubs, whether they be amateur, semi-professional or professional, intact and able to have a sustainable future.
“I know how much rugby means to Wales and I am committed to stay until such a time as we reach calmer waters and we can again enjoy what sport and rugby means to us all.
“There are so many people across Wales making huge sacrifices at the moment to support us all through extraordinarily difficult times. Compared to the challenges they are facing and against that wider context I had no decision to make.”
ABOUT MARTYN PHILLIPS:
During Martyn Phillips’ tenure to date the WRU has thrived in a period of change for the sport at a global level.
He appointed Wales head coach Wayne Pivac, introduced the widely acclaimed Senior Player Selection Policy (SPSP) – which has vastly improved player retention in Wales – and has overseen unprecedented change and modernisation of the governance structure responsible for running, sustaining and managing Welsh rugby.
On the field, a 2019 Six Nations Grand Slam win formed part of a record-breaking 14-match unbeaten run that saw the team rise to number one in the World Rugby rankings, before reaching the Rugby World Cup semi-finals.
Phillip’s commitment to succession planning meant that Wayne Pivac was appointed 15 months before the departure of Wales’s longest serving coach, Warren Gatland, meaning the coaching team were in place and planning for the future during the summer of 2019.
Off the field, turnover reached a record £97m in YE17/18 as a result of a comprehensive strategic plan aimed at maximising revenue delivering significantly higher reinvestment in the game.
Corporately, governance changes have seen the Board streamlined and diversified and the introduction of two sub-Boards – the Professional Game Board and the Community Game Board – has seen increased focus on the two areas of the game in Wales.
At community level, strategies are in place for the clubs and the fifteen-a-side game, supported by specific plans for the female game, disability rugby and a number of other alternative formats. There is also work to be completed on the new strategy for community clubs.
In the professional game, the success of the men’s national team has been supported by the early implementation of a new Professional Rugby Agreement. This agreement is designed to foster a close working relationship between the WRU and Regions with an ambition over time to ensure all entities are successful and sustainable.