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Rugby Australia appoint Phil Kearns Executive Director of their Rugby World Cup 2027 bid

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Kearns has issued a warning to Rugby Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

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Rugby Australia Chairman Hamish McLennan has revealed that two-time World Cup winner Phil Kearns AM as Executive Director, Rugby World Cup 2027 Bid.


Kearns, who played 67 Tests for Australia, will lead the Rugby World Cup Bid team in engaging with Federal, State and Local Government as well as international stakeholders including World Rugby Member Unions and he will be a key conduit for the Rugby World Cup 2027 Bid Advisory Board.

Following a storied playing career, Kearns held previous posts as Chief Executive of Centric Wealth as well as Managing Director at InterRISK Australia while he also serves as Board Director for AVJennings, Venues NSW and Coolabah Capital.

Following 12 years on the board of the Childhood Cancer Institute Australia, Kearns is now Patron of the Zero Childhood Cancer campaign alongside Professor Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO and David Gonski AC. The former Wallaby hooker also started the ‘Balmoral Burn’ in 2001, which has since raised more than $30 million to buy equipment for Children’s Hospitals around Australia.

Rugby Australia Chairman, Hamish McLennan said: “Phil has an impeccable international reputation both in the corporate sector and with his network of contacts throughout the rugby world.

“Phil will be front and centre of Rugby World Cup bid team and will lead our international relations to put Rugby Australia in the strongest possible position to win the right to host the 2027 showpiece.

“As part of his role, Phil will be spend time overseas to be a key contact with the World Rugby Member Unions, to showcase our bid and to highlight why we would be a tremendous host in 2027,” McLennan said.


Rugby World Cup 2027 Bid Advisory Board Chairman, Sir Rod Eddington said: “I’m really pleased to welcome Phil to the bid team and know his experience will prove invaluable as we prepare over the coming months.

“Phil has proven himself to be a high profile Rugby leader and coupled with his history in game, will be instrumental for Rugby Australia’s bid,” Eddington said.

Executive Director Rugby World Cup 2027 Bid, Phil Kearns said: “I’m very proud to accept the role and want to thank Hamish and Sir Rod for their consideration as we prepare our bid to host the Rugby World Cup in Australia in 2027.

“I know what it takes to win a World Cup on the field in Wallaby Gold and now I’m enormously excited to put in the work to win the right to host a World Cup here in Australia.


“The World Cup in 2027 would be transformational for the game in this country. The financial windfall it would bring would spark the Australian economy as we rebuild from the impact of COVID-19 and then gives us the opportunity to invest back into the grassroots of the game,” Kearns said.

Kearns will start on September 7 and will report into Rugby Australia Chairman Hamish McLennan as well as Bid Advisory Board Chairman Sir Rod Eddington AO FTSE.

Rugby World Cup 2019 created 46,000 jobs and proved to be the most economically successful Rugby World Cup ever. The event attracted more than 240,000 international visitors to Japan and generated over $7.5 billion in economic output.

Phil Kearns AM
A Wallabies captain, Phil Kearns AM won two Rugby World Cups for Australia (1991 and 1999) before starting a hugely successful corporate career. Kearns has served as Chief Executive of insurance broker InterRISK Australia and Centric Wealth. Prior to that, Kearns worked with Investec’s Corporate Advisory and Capital Markets divisions. Kearns is also a Director of AV Jennings, Coolabah Capital and Venues NSW.


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