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IRB appoints Gilpin to head Rugby World Cup team

The International Rugby Board (IRB) has appointed Alan Gilpin as head of Rugby World Cup, the organising body of international rugby union’s showpiece event.

Gilpin begins the role in May as preparations for the 2015 tournament in England gather pace. He replaces Kit McConnell, who joined the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as sports director at the start of the year.

In his previous role at the Sodexo and Mike Burton Group joint venture, Gilpin oversaw the hospitality programme for the London 2012 Olympic Games and has been in the process of delivering those services at Rugby World Cup 2015 as chief commercial officer for Rugby Travel & Hospitality Limited and Prestige Ticketing & Hospitality Limited.

Prior to the London 2012 role, Gilpin spent nine years with the IMG agency, where he was responsible for commercial right negotiations across the previous three editions of the Rugby World Cup.

IRB and Rugby World Cup chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “Alan joins a strong and dynamic Rugby World Cup management team at an exciting time for the tournament with preparation on track to deliver what promises to be a wonderful England 2015 event and a ground-breaking first Rugby World Cup in Asia at Japan 2019.”