David Pickering has been elected on to the Rugby World Cup Limited Board .
The International Rugby Board Executive Committee, acting in its role as the IRB Trust, has appointed the members of the Rugby World Cup Limited Board who will serve a four-year term to be effective from May 15, 2012.
Joining IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset, IRB Vice Chairman Oregan Hoskins and acting IRB Chief Executive Robert Brophy on the Board are John O'Neill (Australia) and David Pickering (Wales). The appointments were unopposed.
Former IRB Chairman Dr Syd Millar did not seek re-appointment, having previously advised that the current term would be his last following many years of outstanding service on the Board, including overseeing the delivery of a record-breaking RWC 2007 in France during his IRB and RWCL Chairmanship.
Bill Beaumont did not seek re-appointment given the potential conflict of interest with England's hosting of Rugby World Cup 2015 should he be elected Chairman of the Rugby Football Union.
Both Millar and Beaumont expressed their full support of the new Board and underscored the collaborative commitment of the Rugby World Cup Limited Board, the England Rugby 2015 Organising Committee and the RFU to hosting a successful and biggest-ever Rugby World Cup in 2015 that is anticipated to deliver significant benefits for the Game on and off the field in England, Europe and globally.
The Board will preside over the delivery of Rugby World Cup 2015 in England, a groundbreaking Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Russia, Women's Rugby World Cup 2014 in France and ongoing preparations to host Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan during their four-year mandate.
Lapasset and the entire EXCO Board paid tribute to the outgoing members of the Board and reaffirmed the importance of the next four years in driving forward the Rugby World Cup brand for the benefit of the global Rugby family.
"I would like to thank Dr Syd Millar and Bill Beaumont for their exceptional contribution to the Board and their tireless dedication to strengthening the Rugby World Cup brand, stature, profile and profitability for the benefit of the World Game," said Lapasset.
"There is no doubt that their vision, passion, dedication, expertise and leadership was instrumental in the delivery of a massively successful Rugby World Cup in New Zealand on all fronts. Bill, of course, will continue to contribute his considerable expertise and experience to all IRB matters in his capacity as an RFU representative on the IRB Council and as an elected member of the IRB Executive Committee."
"These are exciting times for Rugby and Rugby World Cup properties continue to go from strength to strength. I would like to welcome David Pickering and John O'Neill to the Rugby World Cup Limited Board as we look to further the profile and stature of all Rugby World Cup properties over the next four years and beyond as we look forward to a first Rugby World Cup in Asia."
In their meeting, EXCO also received an update and presentation from leading executive search company Odgers Berndtson, who have been appointed as advisors to the IRB Chief Executive recruitment process.
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.
Wales Sevens manager Steff Thomas is hopeful his side can build from a quarter-final spot in the opening round of the World Series in Australia when his side take part in the forthcoming double header in Dubai and South Africa.