A PEMBROKESHIRE woman has been appointed to the board of the Welsh Rugby Union.

Jennifer Mathias, who lives near Tenby, has been appointed as an independent non-executive director (iNED) in the WRU.

Ms Mathias is the chief financial officer of Rathbones – an FTSE 250 plc financial services firm – and will bring financial and commercial acumen to her role within the WRU.

Ms Mathias said: “I am delighted to be bringing my financial and transformation experience to help the WRU prosper during this most critical and important strategic journey ahead. I firmly believe this is a WRU which will create a one-Wales approach to rugby resulting in a modern, accessible and sustainable future for the game in Wales at all levels.”

She will be joined by former Welsh Womens international and head coach Amanda Bennett and former Wales and British and Irish Lions player Jamie Roberts.

Ms Bennett – who was Wales’ first women’s fly half in the inaugural 1987 side - will bring experience of the women’s and girls’ game at community and professional levels, with Mr Roberts providing an extensive knowledge and expertise in elite performance.

WRU chairman Richard Collier-Keywood said: “We have recruited a wide and diverse range of high-quality candidates to new board positions from an extremely high quality field.

“The new WRU board is taking shape and we are delighted with the blend of business and commercial experience, governance acumen and elite sporting knowledge that we have been able to put together.

“We have not only significantly improved the gender diversity of our board, but also introduced a new diversity of thought and experience in terms of both age and occupation, with the appointment of individuals who are hugely respected in their respective fields.”

The appointments are part of the new 12-person board that governs Welsh rugby. It is made up of eight appointed directors which include the chairperson and CEO – with seven of these board members being announced, including four women from the elite sports and business worlds. The remaining four are to be elected in November.

The next Welsh Rugby Union president has also been named as Terry Cobner, the former Wales captain, assistant coach and WRU director of rugby who played for Pontypool RFC in the 1970s. He was elected unopposed by member clubs to succeed Gerald Davies.