Independent panel decision on Thurrock and Lichfield appeals

May 2 • General News, International • 1039 Views • Comments Off on Independent panel decision on Thurrock and Lichfield appeals

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An Independent Panel has concluded its review of appeals made by Thurrock RFC and Lichfield RFC against the RFU’s decision not to award the clubs a place in the new women’s domestic competition.

The three-person independent panel of Philip Evans QC (chair), Dr Julian Morris and Michael Short concluded both appeals were unsuccessful.

The RFU appointed the original interview panel to make that decision and that panel brought a range of relevant expertise to the decision-making process.

The sole purpose of the appeals was to decide whether an appellant has satisfied the independent panel that the process set out in the Request for Proposals (RFP) had not been followed in their case.

The independent panel noted it was not the purpose of the appeals to assess whether the ultimate decision taken by the RFU was the correct one.

In regards to Thurrock RFC, the independent panel found nothing to suggest that the club were treated unfairly or differently to any other applicant. The very nature of the process is competitive and meant the applicants were to persuade the RFU that they met or would meet the minimum standards and that they were one of the most suitable teams to form the new league. Thurrock did not persuade the interview panel and the independent panel found no reason to say that Thurrock was treated in a manner that could be described as outside of the process.

In regards to Lichfield RFC’s appeal, the independent panel concluded that the RFU’s decision was one that was reasonably open for them to take based on the facts, and did not fall outside the process as described in the RFP. They were not persuaded in any way that the process had not been followed or that there has been any unfairness to the club.

To read the full judgment please click here.

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