RFU appoint new directors


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The Independent Online

The Rugby Football Union Council have approved a recommendation from the board of directors to appoint Miles Templeman and Andrew Higginson as independent non-executive directors of the governing body.

The appointment of the duo meets one of the recommendations put forward by the Blackett report, which looked into the dismissal of former chief executive John Steele.

RFU chairman Paul Murphy said: "The Rugby Football Union is a growing organisation with a complex business model. Miles and Andrew are two high-calibre individuals who will bring complementary experience and skills of great range and depth to the RFU in terms of corporate governance, and commercial, financial and strategic acumen.

"Both are passionate about rugby and both have significant experience as non-executive directors in a wide range of sectors which will enhance the running of our business.

"These two appointments demonstrate our commitment to best practice and good corporate governance of the Rugby Football Union. They address one of the recommendations of the recent Blackett report."

Templeman recently stepped down as director general of the Institute of Directors while Higginson has been a main board director at supermarket giant Tesco for the last 14 years.

Templeman said: "I am delighted to be joining the RFU board not only to help resolve the concerns and difficulties in governance and structure at the top of the game but also to help the development and success of rugby union both at a professional level and throughout the community game."

Those "concerns and difficulties" have bedevilled the RFU in the aftermath of Steele's departure following a botched search for an elite performance director and today's board meeting was set to address the futures of acting chief executive Martyn Thomas and team manager Martin Johnson.

The RFU's legal officer Judge Jeff Blackett was asked to investigate the sacking of Steele and his eventual findings were critical of Thomas, who at the time was RFU chairman. Thomas' response was to threaten Blackett with legal action.

Although Thomas stepped down as chairman, he has since survived two votes of no confidence but reports suggest that the RFU Council are keen to oust him.