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World Rugby appoints Nigel Cass as Competitions Director as Mark Egan bids farewell

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World Rugby has announced the appointment of Nigel Cass as Competitions Director, heading up a new Competitions Department within an organisational restructure of the rugby functions of the international federation following the confirmation earlier in the year that Mark Egan will leave the organisation after 18 years to pursue new challenges.

  • Experienced rugby administrator Nigel Cass appointed as Competitions Director after highly-competitive process
  • Mark Egan to depart World Rugby having transformed competitions and successfully led the high performance investment function over an 18-year period
  • Egan advising on organisational restructure having played significant role in COVID-19 response, including emerging nation COVID support strategies, HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series rescheduling and temporary and long-term calendar discussions

World Rugby has announced the appointment of Nigel Cass as Competitions Director, heading up a new Competitions Department within an organisational restructure of the rugby functions of the international federation.

One of the most experienced competitions directors in the sport, Cass will join in November to lead a new department that will be responsible for the implementation of a new competitions strategy that will ensure that World Rugby’s portfolio of men’s and women’s competitions outside of Rugby World Cup best serve union high performance requirements, while maximising commercial revenue for reinvestment in the sport. 

Cass brings a wealth of experience at the highest level of rugby event management over 20 years with New Zealand Rugby. During that time, he has been involved in many World Rugby competitions, ranging from Rugby World Cup 2011 and Rugby World Cup 2021 to the New Zealand round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and the World Rugby U20 Championship 2014. He has also led New Zealand Rugby’s hosting of international competitions, including The Rugby Championship and Super Rugby, and domestic competitions in his native New Zealand. 

Cass takes up the role with Mark Egan having confirmed his intention earlier this year to leave the organisation after 18 years of service to pursue new challenges. Egan, one of the most prominent figures in the sport, has been responsible for the transformation and success of World Rugby’s competitions, including exponential growth of rugby sevens, as well as high performance and competition strategies that have elevated the performances of emerging nations at successive Rugby World Cups. He has been at the centre of advising on the restructure, assisting with recruitment, and will remain involved in a consultant capacity through to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 

World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: “While we are sad to see Mark leave after such an impactful career with World Rugby, we can all be very proud of what he has achieved over the years and grateful that he agreed to stay on beyond his scheduled departure to oversee the implementation of key COVID-19 response initiatives, including calendar discussions. 

“Mark has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the game, from transforming our high performance competitions and fighting the cause of the emerging nations to ensure increases in competitiveness at successive men’s Rugby World Cups, to the development of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, which led to our Olympic inclusion, and of course a spectacular debut at Rio 2016. It is fitting that as someone whose administrative journey began with sevens and who lived in Japan as a player, that he should finish his World Rugby journey at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

“Nigel is an experienced and proven operator at the highest level of the sport and will bring great passion, innovation and knowledge to the new role of Competitions Director at a pivotal time for the sport as we look to ensure sustainable growth beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. He impressed during a highly-competitive process, is well known and respected by unions and World Rugby staff, a great cultural fit, and we look forward to his leadership of a new Competitions department.”

The original article can be found here.

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