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Tier structure to be axed as World Rugby appoint independent ethics officer

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images )

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World Rugby has recruited Neil Hallett as its first independent ethics officer, a role which will see him support its new integrity code.

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Part of the role will see Hallett oversee the axeing of the Tier system in global rugby, a structure which will be replaced by a merit-based system.

A former Detective Inspector with 35 years of experience with New Zealand’s police force, Hallett also has experience with three World Cups in various sports.

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In his position, Hallett will function independently of World Rugby. Among other things, he will determine whether candidates for appointment as World Rugby officials meet the requirements and to vet them for any ‘Integrity Code’ violations.

World Rugby Chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont said: “When I was re-elected as World Rugby Chairman, reforming and strengthening World Rugby’s governance structures was a key priority, central to rugby’s ability to accelerate global growth responsibly.

“We have not stood still in implementing the transformational recommendations of the independent-led review and the appointment of Neil Hallett as the Independent Ethics Officer is central to that process, supporting the adoption of a new Integrity Code.

“Neil brings with him a wealth of investigative and ethics experience across the public and private sectors. He also has significant international sporting experience and has run investigations across sports, while supporting intelligence across major event hosting, helping to keep teams and fans safe.”

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World Rugby said in a statement that:

The independent-led governance review has transformed and strengthened the effectiveness, agility and representative nature of World Rugby’s governance structures to further reflect and serve the universality and diversity of rugby and support robust decision-making processes for the betterment of the global game.

The comprehensive review also resulted in a new merit-based classification of unions to replace the tier structure, new targets on widening female, independence, player and nation/region representation within World Rugby’s committees, and the adoption of a new Integrity Code to include the standards and vetting process for the international federation’s officials.

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