In my travels around Wales as WRU Chairman I have encountered a healthy appetite for information about how our vision for the future is being implemented.

This hunger for detail is surely a reflection of how the Welsh rugby community wants to play an active part in the exciting journey we are now embarking on.

While my focus is on close liaison with my Board and the member clubs themselves I realise there are times when I need to speak with a louder voice to an even wider audience than usual.

So this open letter to Welsh rugby is aimed at explaining to you all how we have a defined vision of what we want to achieve and how we are already working to effect the changes we believe are vital.

Right now the whole structure of the community game is being looked at with some very specific and focused activity.

Work is underway on reviewing and monitoring our new league structure, the format of the playing season, particularly during the Autumn international period, and our cup competitions.

A working party is now in place reviewing the SWALEC National leagues introduced this season and a number of representatives from member clubs are involved in that panel.

My Board colleague, Anthony Buchanan, has been tasked with chairing that group and he will oversee a fully transparent and open consultation process.

Another working party is in place looking specifically at the structure of the season with the aim of achieving consistency and continuity of fixtures particularly during the Autumn international period.

We know there is an issue over disruption to regular fixtures so we have to review ways of improving the flow of games so players maintain that habit of playing regularly.

The Regulatory Committee of the WRU is also looking at the way our competitions are structured to ensure we have the best formats in place.

Beyond this body of work we are also moving on with our plans to discourage the payment of players in the amateur leagues as we firmly believe this removes money which should be kept at the heart of the game.

Of course there are many other initiatives and priorities, from the implementation of concussion protocols to the links with schools through the Club Hub project and the progress of our Principality Premiership Division level of semi-professional rugby.

This activity builds on a lot of hard work which has been going on in recent years to sustain and develop the grassroots game in Wales.

The establishment of a Club Operations Team to focus on off the field needs has raised the staffing level of WRU personnel working on the community game to more than fifty. The investment has been strong and sustained. Now the work we are carrying out reflects the current needs we have identified as well.

Beyond the grassroots there is the strong focus on building our relationship with the four Regions and Pro Rugby Wales as we all know how the difficulties of the past year need to be put firmly behind us. I know how hard our Regions are working and the WRU will engage with them closely to build on their progress.

To underpin all this work we are working on a new WRU strategic plan which will ensure the priorities we identify are embraced in our five year rolling operational and financial activity.

Undoubtedly change is taking place at all levels within our sport both with my introduction as Chairman and the announced departure of Roger Lewis later this year.

The first objective we have started work on is to agree exactly what sort of leadership the WRU needs to take us forward beyond this year’s Rugby World Cup.

The relevant WRU committee has already met to start the process of deciding what sort of person we need and a formal process to identify and confirm the successor will now commence.

Whoever is appointed will have a clear set of objectives and will work to defined and measurable key performance indicators to assess our progress.

We are definitely opening a new chapter in our history and I want to make sure everyone involved in Welsh rugby knows that we are working to a specific agenda and a clear vision of our objectives.

The liaison with the clubs on all matters of relevance will be timely and transparent as we work together as one Union.

Welsh rugby is in good shape but there is never any room for complacency and I am certainly looking forward to the task ahead with a positive mindset.

Good luck to Warren and the team for this afternoon against France and for the rest of the RBS 6 Nations Championship on to the Rugby World Cup and all the very best to each and every one of our clubs. Have a great season.

Thank you.