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Report: Alan Gilpin a 'sure thing' to replace Gosper as World Rugby CEO

By Ian Cameron
COO of World Rugby and the Head of Rugby World Cup, Alan Gilpin (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

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Alan Gilpin is reportedly a sure thing to take over from Brett Gosper as the CEO of World Rugby, according to reports in the UK today.


Chris Foy in the Daily Mail reports that Gilpin, the current COO of World Rugby and the Head of Rugby World Cup, is a hot favourite to takeover the role that has been vacated by Gosper, and that his appointment is something of a formality.
Gilpin’s inhouse bid to become chief executive is apparently favoured by both World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont and vice-chairman Bernard Laporte.

Many fans won’t be familiar with Gilpin, although some will remember his most public appearance to date as the man who officially cancelled two Rugby World Cup pool games in Japan due to an impending typhoon Hagibis.

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A fervent Liverpool football fan, Gilpin has been COO of World Rugby since 2016, and Head of the Rugby World Cup since 2014 and is acting as interim CEO.

Dan Leo, head of Pacific Rugby Welfare said of Gilpin’s imminent appointment: “Don’t know anything about him but keen to know what he will do differently? Really hope it’s not the case of ‘New face, same approach to problems’

Gosper is leaving rugby to join the National Football League (NFL) as the American sporting giant’s head of Europe and UK. Gosper, who oversaw record-breaking editions of the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and 2019, has been appointed by the NFL to drive the next stage of the league’s growth in Europe.


“I feel very privileged to have led a great organisation like World Rugby for the best part of a decade, but I am now ready for a new challenge,” said Gosper earlier this month, “a very difficult decision to leave.”

“I am incredibly excited to be joining the very impressive and ambitious team at the NFL and helping the most valuable and watched sports league in the US win even more hearts in Europe and the UK.

“I am proud of what we have achieved together as a rugby family. While I will miss working in the sport, my passion and enthusiasm for what rugby and its values mean to so many will never diminish.”

Gosper, who lives in London, will begin his new role in 2021.


– additional reporting AAP

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Report: Alan Gilpin a 'sure thing' to replace Gosper as World Rugby CEO