For the girl’s game to develop, everyone in the sporting world must work together to share ideas, break down stereotypes and push through boundaries.
That is why here at Girls Rugby Club, we are expanding our Advisory Board to welcome a long list of male allies, just in time for Father’s Day!
Put together, with the existing board members, we hope to draw on the vast knowledge and experience of the group to inform and progress the future strategy of Girls Rugby Club and ultimately, the future of the women’s game.
We know you are all itching to find out who we have selected. So, without further hesitation, Girls Rugby Club would like to officially welcome the following individuals to the Advisory Board:
- David Flatman
David Flatman is a former England international player who now works in the rugby media. He is extremely knowledgeable about the sport, and often provides an honest opinion when it is needed. He recently spoke to us
about the future of the women’s game and is looking forward to joining the board to learn more about the issues in the female game.
- Charlie Beckett
Charlie is a professional rugby player who currently plays for Ampthill RUFC in the Championship. In his spare time, he hosts “Brew with Beckett”, a podcast which sees him interview notable people in the rugby world. He is a real advocate for the women’s game, frequently giving his insight into how it can evolve and grow via his column with Talking Rugby Union.
On joining the GRC Advisory Board, Charlie said: “I’m excited to get involved with GRC because I know from my personal experience how much joy playing rugby has brought to me and my life. While it’s always fairly easy for young boys to see how they can get involved with rugby, it isn’t always for girls, and I want to be a part of helping to change that.”
- James Liley
James is a Board Director at Rugby Victoria and Co-founder of “Carbon Mentoring
”, a mentoring programme crafted specifically for female athletes. He has two daughters who both play rugby, and after seeing that neither of them had a seamless pathway to continue to play in Australia, James made it his mission to create one.
- Brian Moore
Brian is a three-time Grand Slam winner who has also been capped five times by the British and Irish Lions. He currently works as a broadcaster and is a well-respected voice in the male game. Brian is vastly experienced, and we hope to draw on his knowledge to help advance the female game.
- Nick Heath
Nick is a well-known broadcaster in the women’s rugby scene. His work to date in the space has been vast. Nick has been a lead commentator on the Women’s 6 Nations, Rugby World Cup and the women’s Allianz Premier 15’s. He is often a go to source for anything women’s rugby related, so we are incredibly excited to welcome him on board!
- Richard Turner
Richard ‘Pod’ Turner is a former New Zealand rugby player, who played number eight. He also represented Hawke’s Bay and North Harbour at provincial level and the Chiefs in Super Rugby. Richard also worked as a commentator for Sky Sports, covering the Farah Palmer Cup provincial women’s matches in New Zealand.
- Emmerson Wood
After learning that male internationals in the rugby world earn more in one game than what a female international earns for a whole year’s work Emmerson was inspired to create Hunter Sports Management
, an agency dedicated specifically to representing female athletes. Within his work he provides representation and assistance to female rugby players and, as a registered RFC agent, often engages with clubs to negotiate players contracts.
- Martin Davidson
Martin is chair of the Reeds Weybridge RFC girls’ section
and is responsible for growing the mini’s membership by 500%. After seeing so many sisters on the side-lines watching eagerly, Martin made it his purpose to encourage and grow the girls’ team at the club. As father to three girls, he is passionate about providing the opportunity for girls to enjoy the values, friendship and community spirit that rugby once gave him.
- Matt Merritt
Matt is a rugby journalist and blogger who focuses specifically on women’s rugby. He is a season ticket holder at London Irish and regularly interviews players and contributes to match day programmes. He also covers the England Red Roses and Allianz Premier 15s. Matt’s energy and involvement with the women’s game is truly unquestionable, he is a real force for good in the space.
- Joe Batley
Joe is a professional rugby player who currently plays for Worcester Warriors in the Premiership. He has also represented England at U18s and U20s, including at the 2015 World Rugby Under 20 Championship.
- Leandro Conde
Leandro works to grow women’s rugby in Brazil and Italy, as a rugby coach and consultant. He works alongside former Italian International, and multiple World Cup winner, Erika Morri to grow women’s rugby in Italy. He is particularly interested in increasing the number of women in decision-making positions within the sport.
- Mike Friday
Mike is currently head coach for the USA men’s rugby sevens team. He also has previous experience both coaching and captaining the England national rugby sevens team. Mike previously played for Wasps, and helped the team win the Anglo-Welsh Cup twice.
- Huw Taylor
Huw is a professional rugby player who currently plays for the Newport based Dragons in the United Rugby Championship. He was formerly a member of the Worcester Warriors and represented England at U18 and U20s
- Dwayne Sweeney
Dwayne Sweeney is a New Zealand rugby player, who has been a professional rugby player for more than 20 years, after making his debut at the young age of 17. We know we are in good hands with Dwayne as he previously coached the highly successful Waikato Women’s Sevens side alongside Teresa Te Tamaki.
So, there you have it! As you can see, we are in amazing company moving forwards, and we can’t wait to get these individuals onboard. Keep an eye on the Girls Rugby Club social media as you are sure to hear from some of our new board members soon.