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RFU unveils England Rugby 2015 CEO

14 December 2010

  • Paul Vaughan named as CEO of company to deliver 2015 Rugby World Cup
  • Vaughan moves across after 10 years as RFU Business Operations Director

Paul Vaughan, who has been unveiled as CEO for England Rugby 2015

Photo: Getty Images

After a rigorous recruitment process, the Rugby Football Union has appointed the first member of its executive leadership team for England Rugby 2015, the tournament organising company that will deliver the Rugby World Cup in 2015 in England.

Paul Vaughan will become the new CEO of England Rugby 2015, effective January 4, 2011.

Vaughan moves across from the RFU where he has been Business Operations Director for 10 years, during which time he grew the commercial revenues from £43m to £119m and played a major role in creating the commercial partnerships with Compass Group, Marriott Hotels and Virgin Health that underpin the new South Stand development. He also had board responsibility for the ticketing strategy that has seen Twickenham Stadium regularly sell out and prior to the RFU he held executive roles at Whitbread plc and Octagon.

He said: "It is a tremendous honour to be offered the opportunity to manage the delivery of RWC 2015 in England and one I accept with great relish. The RFU are the custodians of the tournament before handing it on to Japan in 2019 and I want to deliver a fantastic event for the game and a long term positive legacy for the RFU."

The role of CEO of England Rugby 2015 required a very specific range of skills to deliver an outstanding tournament and maximise ticket income, and it was his unique experience of commercial success in a the rugby market that led to Vaughan being chosen over and above the other candidates.

Vaughan will take up the role from January 2011 but will continue to fulfil his current role at the RFU to ensure an appropriate period of transition through to the middle of the year. The RFU is looking at how they will replace him and will announce its intentions for that early in 2011.

Vaughan an outstanding candidate – Thomas

Martyn Thomas, Chairman of England Rugby 2015 and Chairman of the RFU Board, said: “We cast the net wide and saw some impressive and highly experienced candidates but in the end we all agreed that Paul had a unique combination of experience in the rugby market, commercial expertise and leadership skills.

“Making the Rugby World Cup a success will require a positive and collaborative relationship with the IRB and with the RFU and it goes without saying Paul has those relationships already in place and has been closely involved in our planning so far so we are already well on our way to delivering an outstanding World Cup. We are very excited by the appointment and I believe Paul will be pivotal in the delivery of an outstanding Rugby World Cup.”

With a little under five years to go until England hosts RWC 2015, the foundations for delivery of rugby’s showcase event are already under way with the RFU and Rugby World Cup Limited collaborating to develop the detailed strategic and master plans that will guide the delivery of RWC 2015 in England.

The Strategic Plan will ensure all legacies are realised and where possible exceeded, both in the UK and throughout Europe. It will also provide the focus for planning moving forward, while the master plan will deliver the framework for the delivery of the specific strategic goals.

Appointment welcomed by Rugby World Cup Ltd

Bernard Lapasset, Chairman of RWCL, added: "Rugby World Cup Limited welcomes this key appointment which represents an important first step in the delivery of Rugby World Cup 2015. The successful delivery of the world’s third largest sporting event is founded on partnership, teamwork, vision and strong leadership.

"Paul certainly possesses all the necessary attributes as he is vastly experienced, has an excellent knowledge of the global Game, has a strong working relationship with the IRB and knows how to build successful marketing and ticketing strategies. We are looking forward to working in partnership with Paul and his England Rugby 2015 team to deliver an outstanding Rugby World Cup in 2015."

England Rugby 2015 is the wholly owned subsidiary of the RFU tasked with delivering RWC 2015 which will begin in September 2015 and lasts seven weeks, with 48 of games played in over 10 iconic stadia including Twickenham and Wembley.