November 13, 2013 (ISN) – The International Rugby Board has announced that Head of Rugby World Cup Kit McConnell is to leave the global governing body to join the International Olympic Committee as Sports Director.
In his 10 years in his current position, McConnell has helped in the delivery of the three most successful Rugby World Cups of all time on and off the field.
McConnell said today: “It has been a wonderful 10 years at the IRB and it has been an honour and a privilege to have worked alongside so many talented and dedicated people to help deliver some very special Rugby World Cups in Australia, France and New Zealand that have played a major part in the growth and profile of Rugby worldwide.”
“These are exciting times for Rugby World Cup and Rugby and I am sure I am leaving with the foundations firmly in place to ensure that England 2015 is an exceptional success on and off the field. We have built a strong and highly experienced team and a superb partnership with England Rugby 2015 and the RFU. This will ensure a very special event and the ongoing growth and strength of the Rugby World Cup brand.”
McConnell will begin his new post with the IOC early in the New Year after overseeing a transitional process within the IRB’s Rugby World Cup department.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “Kit has achieved much during his 10 years at the IRB. He has played a major role in helping Rugby World Cup go from strength to strength. We are once again on track to achieve our aim of breaking new markets, attracting record audiences and cementing our showcase event amongst the biggest and most successful major global sports events.”
“Kit leaves with the foundations firmly in place for the success story to continue at England 2015 and Japan 2019. I would like to thank him for his enormous contribution and wish him all the very best in his new role with our friends at the IOC and look forward to working with him as we prepare for our Olympic Games return at Rio 2016.”
IRB Chief Executive and Rugby World Cup Limited Managing Director Brett Gosper added: “Kit leaves with a strong management team in place to continue to drive forward the successful delivery of Rugby World Cup 2015 in partnership with the England Rugby 2015 organising body and the first Rugby World Cup in Asia in collaboration with Japan Rugby 2019. We have already begun the recruitment process to find Kit’s replacement and further details will be announced shortly.”