Building on the strong partnership and progress with the France 2023 organising committee, World Rugby has appointed Michel Poussau as the Rugby World Cup 2023 General Manager.
Based in Paris and reporting to World Rugby Chief Operating Officer and Rugby World Cup Tournament Director Alan Gilpin, Poussau will oversee the day-to-day management of the World Rugby presence in Paris and day-to-day collaboration with the France 2023 organising committee to ensure that the international federation’s core hosting criteria and goals are achieved.
Poussau joins the World Rugby team from IMG, where he performed the role of Executive Director, Commercial for IMG based in Tokyo, supporting World Rugby in the development and delivery of a record-breaking commercial rights programme for Rugby World Cup 2019.
He brings a wealth of French sports market experience to the position, including performing the role of Deputy Country Manager at Euro 2016, Brand Director for Football at Sportfive France (now Lagardère Sports and Entertainment) and IMG Commercial Operations Manager at Rugby World Cup 2007 in France.
Poussau said: “I am delighted to be joining World Rugby at such an exciting time for the sport with record growth, interest and success, largely driven by the men’s Rugby World Cup.
“After a very special Japan 2019 tournament that raised the bar, I am excited and motivated in working in collaboration with our friends from the France 2023 organising committee, national and local governments and all stakeholders to assist in the delivery of an event that will set new standards on and off the field, engaging a nation, driving the sustainability agenda and inspire a new generation of rugby fans.”
World Rugby Chief Operating Officer and Rugby World Cup Tournament Director Alan Gilpin said: “Rugby World Cup 2023 is an exciting project that presents an enormous opportunity for rugby to further its impressive fan and participation growth around the world.
“Major event delivery is complex, operating within a finite timescale with multiple stakeholders. Successfully converting the collective objectives of World Rugby and the France 2023 organising committee requires someone with a proven ability and deep understanding of the rugby and French sporting landscapes.
“Michel has a proven track record in these key areas, knows Rugby World Cup intimately and we are sure that he will make a hugely positive impact in leading the World Rugby team on the ground in Paris, furthering the superb relationship with our friends at the organising committee and delivering a truly spectacular Rugby World Cup 2023.”