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Wales review women's programme

After their disappointing Six Nations, the Welsh Rugby Union, has commissioned a review into its women's programme.

The WRU faced criticism for its support for its elite programme after Wales lost all three of their games in this year's competition and finished bottom.

Though the timing is unusual, with the World Cup just a year away, WRU chief executive Steve Phillips has promised they will "not avoid difficult decisions on the back of this review in order to improve".

The review will be completed by late June and will be led by an independent panel  made up of Commonwealth Games Wales' chair Helen Phillips, former Wales Women vice-captain and Sport Wales board member Amanda Bennett, and ex-Wales coach Kevin Bowring.

It will seek input from current and former players, coaches, WRU staff and board members to find out how effectively the strategy is being implemented. It will also aim to "better understand the factors that may be hindering progress and what improvements can be made" before recommendations are made to the WRU Board.

Phillips said: "Given the strategic importance of the women and girls’ game to the WRU I want to take this opportunity to ensure we are progressing against the approved strategic plan for women’s performance rugby.

"We were keen to involve independent experts in our review of the performance end of the women’s game and take on board their recommendations in order to ensure we have the optimum opportunities, including structures, environment and culture, needed to drive success on the world stage."

WRU vice-chair Liza Burgess said: "On behalf of the WRU Board, I welcome this timely and much-needed, independent review into the performance end of the women’s game in Wales. It is vital that we take this opportunity to reflect on the structures and systems needed to support our players and enable them to be competitive on the world stage."