February 24, 2014 (ISN) – The International Rugby Board can confirm that Rugby World Cup Limited Director John O’Neill AO has stepped down from his position for personal reasons.
O’Neill has made a major contribution to the growth and development of the sport both in his former roles as CEO of the Australian Rugby Union, IRB Council Member, and more latterly in his role as Rugby World Cup Limited Director, which he has performed since March 2012.
Rugby World Cup Board Chairman Bernard Lapasset led the tributes: “It is with great sadness that the Rugby World Cup Limited Board has received and reluctantly accepted John’s resignation.”
“The Board would like to thank John for his exceptional contribution and his tireless dedication to strengthening the Rugby World Cup brand, profile and profitability for the benefit of the global Game.”
“There is no doubt that his vision, energy, expertise and leadership has been instrumental in delivering the strong foundations for what promises to be hugely successful Rugby World Cups in England and Japan, while driving forward a review of future delivery of our flagship event.”
O’Neill said: “For my own personal reasons, I have resigned as a director of RWCL, effective immediately. I wish the Board and management every success for both RWC 2015 in England and RWC 2019 in Japan.”
The IRB Executive Committee will discuss the timing of the appointment of a new Rugby World Cup Limited Director at its next meeting in March.