The Welsh Rugby Union Secretary, Dennis Gethin, will be leaving his post at the end of December, 2002. Mr Gethin has forged an agreement with the Union's new Group Chief Executive, David Moffett, whereby he will be able to leave at the end of the year.
Applications for the post of Chief Executive of the WRU, which will take over from the role of Secretary, close on Friday, 13 December, 2002, and the successful candidate should be in position, along with the Chief Executive of the Millennium Stadium and the Group Commercial Marketing Director, early in the new year.
"I have come to an arrangement with David which will allow me to leave my post at the end of this month. I approached David to offer him the chance to clear his decks a little earlier to enable his new appointment to move straight into position. He has now agreed to my proposition and, as a result, I will be leaving my post on 31 December, 2002," said Mr Gethin.
"For the record, I took up the role of Secretary of the WRU on 16 March, 1998. Every day has presented a new challenge, every season has seen dramatic change. As I have stated in the past, much of my time has been spent fire-fighting at times of crisis. The game, however, remains very dear to me and I will continue to be totally committed to the cause of Welsh rugby.
"These are difficult times for our professional game and our leading players. More change is in the pipeline and I believe our game will be all the better for some form of rationalisation at the top. In David Moffett, the WRU have found a man ready to seize the day and drive through the changes that are so necessary for the future of our great game. His experience in effecting change will be vital and I'm sure the plan that is ultimately presented to the WRU membership will be for the greater good of Welsh rugby.
"I've thoroughly enjoyed coming to work every day over the past five years. It has been a pleasure to work with everyone connected with Welsh rugby - the general committee, the staff, the clubs, the players, coaches and referees, the fans and the media - and it has been an honour to serve such a great institution as the WRU. I hope people will feel I have made a positive contribution during my time as Secretary."
Mr Gethin, 58, won two Blues at Cambridge University before playing with distinction for both Neath and Cardiff. He joined the WRU soon after stepping down as chief executive of the former Taff Ely Borough Council.
"Dennis has done a good job for the WRU in difficult times over the past five years. He has given excellent service to our game," said Mr Moffett.
"His reasons for wanting to step down earlier than had been anticipated are all based on giving his successor a clear run at the new job. However, he has offered to provide any help and assistance the new Chief Executive might need."
Glanmor Griffiths, chairman of the WRU General Committee, added his praise to the work carried out by Mr Gethin over the past five years.
"Dennis was the perfect man for the Welsh Rugby Union at a very difficult period in the history of the game in Wales. His impeccable rugby credentials, allied to his outstanding professional qualifications and experience, allowed him to make an invaluable contribution to our national game," said Griffiths.
"On a personal level, I have worked very closely with Dennis over the past five years and will be very sorry to see him leave the Union. He has been a great colleague and become a good friend. On behalf of the General Committee, I wish him and his wife all the best for their future."