The Six Nations Rugby Championship begins this weekend and fans will gather in pubs, clubs and living rooms across Llanelli to support our players as they strive for success on the pitch.
Off the pitch, however, the headlines have been dominated by damaging revelations about how the game in Wales is run by the Welsh Rugby Union and how misogyny, sexism, racism and homophobia has been left to fester and exist within its culture over the years.
The brave testimonies featured on the BBC Wales Investigates programme illustrate the bullying and toxic attitudes that have prevailed at the highest level of Welsh rugby. These are, by far, not the only examples of deplorable behaviour going unpunished in Welsh rugby and I am aware of further cases closer to home that tell a similar, sorry tale.
For far too long, these things have been swept under the carpet. Let sunlight be the best disinfectant and ensure the game is now cleaned up for current and future generations.
Whilst the resignation of the Union’s Chief Executive and its recent commitment to creating an external taskforce to fully investigate the situation is welcome, it should be the beginning and not the end of the process. Thorough reform of the game’s governance structure and a modernisation of the whole organisation and each of its constituent parts is urgently needed.
From top to bottom, the game needs to take a cold, hard look at itself. The WRU needs to lead the way but every level, including local community clubs and the regions, must ensure that they are not complacent or compliant too.
All sports should be open, accessible and welcoming to all who wish to participate. Rugby, as our national obsession, is certainly no exception.