President of the European Olympic Committees joins world-class line-up

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November 11, 2013 (ISN) – With just one week to go, the International Rugby Board (IRB) has today confirmed that Patrick Hickey, President of the European Olympic Committees, will join a stellar line-up of speakers at the inaugural IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition.

Taking place on 18-19 November alongside the IRB General Assembly and IRB Medical Commission Conference in Dublin, next week’s IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition has been created by the IRB as part of its ongoing commitment to developing Rugby around the world and will draw upon the knowledge and experience of leading figures and stakeholders from world sport.

As a respected member of the Olympic family, Hickey will also be joined by Toshio Tsurunaga (Head of NOC Games Services, International Olympic Committee) on the ‘Optimising Olympic Participation’ panel to discuss what effect inclusion in the Olympic programme has had on Rugby, as well as exploring what the Olympic movement and Rugby community can expect in the lead-up to Rio 2016.

The IRB has also announced that Rugby World Cup winner Will Greenwood will co-present the event alongside Seb Lauzier, further strengthening the IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition position as the Game’s leading international conference.

Speakers already confirmed for the inaugural event include:

  • Bernard Lapasset, IRB Chairman
  • Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the British Olympic Association and CSM Sport and Entertainment
  • Brett Gosper, IRB Chief Executive
  • Debbie Jevans, Chief Executive of England Rugby 2015
  • Oregan Hoskins, IRB Vice-Chairman and President of South African Rugby Union
  • Pâquerette Girard Zappelli, Secretary of Ethics Commission, International Olympic Committee (IOC)
  • Rob Koehler, Director (Education and Programme Development), WADA
  • Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport
  • Kit McConnell, IRB Head of Rugby World Cup
  • Mike Lee, Chairman of VERO Communications
  • Erin Kennedy, Youth Development Manager of USA Rugby
  • Tomas Grace, Strategic Partner Development Manager of YouTube Sports EMEA
  • Fiona Taag, Global Sponsorship Manager of DHL
  • Felipe Contepomi, IRB Anti-Doping Advisory Committee Member
  • Agustin Pichot, Council Member for Argentina
  • Warren Deutrom, Cricket Ireland Chief Executive

An array of Rugby stars – past and present – will also participate at the inaugural event including: Richie McCaw, George Gregan, Mark Ella, Keith Wood, and Gavin Hastings.

The two-day event will also include a range of extra activities to complement the conference that will feature a host of high-profile names from Rugby and international sport. These include the star-studded IRB Hall of Fame inductions ceremony taking place at the Aviva Stadium on Monday, 18 November, as well as a special breakfast session with Sebastian Coe for delegates and media on Tuesday, 19 November.

Speaking ahead of next week’s conference, IRB Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: “With less a week to go, I am delighted to see such an illustrious group of leaders from Rugby and world sport taking part in the first IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition. Their attendance will provide delegates with a unique opportunity to listen to recognised experts in their field, as well as the opportunity to network with some of Rugby’s living legends. I look forward to welcoming the Rugby and wider sporting community to Dublin next week for what will be one of the highlights of the international sporting calendar.”

For further information about the IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition, go to 

About the IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition

Taking place on 18-19 November at the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin, the IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition will create a truly international gathering of stakeholders in rugby. It will incorporate a series of meetings, a medical specific and general rugby conference, a variety of social activities, and an exhibition where organising committees of IRB events, Rugby World Cup partners, industry suppliers and commercial partners will host meetings with international colleagues from around the world.

The IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition will include:

Private sessions:

  • IRB General Assembly
  • IRB Medical Commission Conference

Open to all:

  • Two-day rugby conference programme
  • Two-day exhibition
  • Networking and social programme