Perhaps lost in the news cycle dominated by recent pandemic related developments, was the news last week that Rob Davies is stepping down from his role as Chairman of the Ospreys after a long association with the region and with Swansea RFC, going back decades.
In the tumultuous and often Machiavellian world of Welsh rugby, Rob Davies has been a tireless defender of the interests of the region, standing against numerous attempts in boardrooms to close the Ospreys when it would have been far easier and cheaper to accept defeat and pursue his private business interests. Welsh rugby has an ambivalent relationship with men who are prepared to put their money where their proverbial mouths are, which explains a great deal of the malaise in which we find ourselves. Davies’s record of accomplishment speaks to the commitment and dedication he has to Welsh rugby and the relative lack of fanfare in the national media last week upon news of his stepping down betrays a certain lack of gratitude to a man always prepared to put skin in the game for what he believed in.
As the Ospreys continue the rebuilding process under the new regime in their quest to return to competitiveness at the highest levels, anyone with the best interests of rugby in this neck of the woods should take a moment to acknowledge the colossal role played by Rob Davies, not just in the inception of the Ospreys but in the constant vigilance against those who would close it down or relocate it. If, as we all hope, Swansea, Neath, Bridgend, Port Talbot and countless other local towns and villages continue to have a presence at the top table of professional rugby in the coming decades, few will have played a more significant role than Davies and for that, he deserves our gratitude and acknowledgment.