World Rugby have confirmed that Alan Gilpin has succeeded Brett Gosper as their new chief executive. Gosper switched to NFL in January and having initially minded the fort as interim CEO, the 47-year-old Gilpin will now assume the role on a full-time basis.

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A World Rugby statement read: “Gilpin has a broad and intimate understanding of World Rugby’s business operations having performed the dual role of chief operating officer (COO) and managing director of Rugby World Cup since 2016 after joining the international federation in 2014 to run the portfolio of Rugby World Cup properties.

“His leadership expertise, ability to assemble strong delivery teams and focus on innovation, along with the fan and player experience have played a strong role in the hosting of the most successful men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups to date. He has also transformed the future hosting model to broaden interest and impact.”

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England World Cup winner Neil Back guests with Dylan Hartley and Ryan Wilson on RugbyPass Offload

Gilpin said: “With a new strategic plan ready to launch, considerable talent within the organisation, and an executive board that has ambitious goals for the next few years, it is set to be a pivotal period in the growth of the sport.

“I’m also well aware of the challenges that we face as we emerge from the global Covid-19 pandemic and seek to get rugby back on the field in many parts of the world. We will continue with our mission to grow the global rugby family, while furthering welfare and injury prevention for players at all levels.

“Rugby World Cup 2023 in France will be a spectacular tournament, marking the 200th anniversary of rugby, while the Rugby World Cup 2021 tournament in New Zealand (now postponed to 2022) is at the core of our increased commitment and investment in the growth of women’s rugby.”

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World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont added: “I have long admired Alan’s passion, energy, innovation and leadership skills. I’m excited by his vision for the future of the organisation and the moves the sport needs to take to become truly global and drive sustainable growth in new, key markets.

“His intimate knowledge of the business of the sport, the opportunities and challenges we collectively face as a family and his excellent leadership and stakeholder relations skills make him the stand-out and right choice for this role at an important and exciting time for the sport globally.”

World Rugby vice-chairman Bernard Laporte said: “There were a number of excellent candidates, including Alan, but I’m delighted for him – he is the right person to lead the organisation forward.”

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