World Rugby recruits from within to find Brett Gosper’s successor

Alan Gilpin has been confirmed as the new chief executive of World Rugby, the governing body has announced.

Gilpin succeeds Brett Gosper in the position as a result of the Kiwi leaving World Rugby after almost nine years to join the NFL’s commercial operation in the UK and Europe in December.

Promoted from the role of chief of operations to interim chief executive, Gilpin now gets the job on a permanent basis and will be a key figure to rugby’s financial recovery in the years to come due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said: “Alan is well known and very well respected by the rugby family through his roles as managing director of Rugby World Cup and chief operating officer of World Rugby, and I have long admired his passion, energy, innovation, and leadership skills.

“I am excited by Alan’s 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 standout and right choice for this role at an important and exciting time for the sport globally.”

Gilpin said he was “immensely proud” to take up the role and recognised the biggest challenge was to navigate the sport through the Covid-19 pandemic as well as furthering welfare and injury prevention for players at all levels of the game.

He added that the governing body was talking to potential World Cup hosts to ensure long-term hosting certainty.

“We are already in discussions with potential hosts for the men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups in 2025, 2027, 2029 and 2031 to ensure that we have long-term hosting certainty for our pinnacle events, to drive revenue growth and allow ever-increasing investment,” he said.

“These events, combined with rugby sevens in the Olympic Games and our annual HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, provide a vital aspirational pathway for girls and boys playing rugby all over the world.”

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