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Nigel Walker steps down from Cardiff Rugby Board

First Team News | 14th July 2021

Nigel Walker OBE will stand down from his position as an advisor to the Cardiff Rugby Board after being appointed to the Welsh Rugby Union Executive Board as Performance Director.

The former Cardiff and Wales wing, who also enjoyed a hugely successful athletics career, returned to the Arms Park a year ago and brought a wealth of experience to the position.

After retiring from rugby in 1998, the former Olympian embarked on an impressive career, which has included time with the Welsh institute of Sport, BBC Wales and a decade as National Director at the English Institute of Sport.

In a short time the 58-year-old has made a significant impact at Cardiff Rugby, however he has now resigned from the position to take up the role at the WRU.

Cardiff Rugby chairman, Alun Jones, is disappointed to lose an advisor of Walker’s calibre but has led those offering their congratulations following the crucial appointment for Welsh rugby.

Jones said: “It is bittersweet for us to lose someone of Nigel’s quality and all of the knowledge and experience he brought to our board.

“Since coming on board last July, he has made an enormous contribution at Cardiff Rugby, which we are very grateful for but will also miss.

“We also entirely understand Nigel’s decision and believe he will be a hugely successful appointment at the WRU as Performance Director. He has all of the attributes and experience to make a big impact in a crucially important role for the whole of Welsh rugby.

“It is testament to the quality of people on our board and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Nigel, and wish him all the very best for the future.”

Walker, who competed in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and won bronze in the 60m hurdles in the World and European Indoor Championships three years later, made 121 appearances and scored 78 tries during an illustrious career for the Blue and Blacks.

During that time, he also won the Welsh league and two Welsh Cup titles, 17 Wales caps and the Five Nations before embarking on a career in sports administration.

After hanging up his boots due to injury in 1998, the former Rumney High School pupil, became Head of Sport at BBC Wales and then Head of Change and Internal Communications.

Walker moved to the EIS in 2010, where he has been responsible for the the scientific, medical, technological and engineering support provided to English athletes, building an expertise he is now looking forward to implementing at the WRU.

He added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the last 12 months or so on the Cardiff Rugby Board and I am sad to leave but the Performance Director role with the WRU was too great an opportunity to turn down since it offers the prospect of making a meaningful contribution to all national teams.

“I would like to offer my thanks to the entire Cardiff Rugby Board for making me feel so welcome and being open to change, and to Dai Young, his staff and all the players for their engagement and hard work.  I look forward to continuing to work closely with them all in my new position.

“I wish all at Cardiff Rugby every best wish for success in the coming season and beyond.”