The Rugby Football Union (RFU), the governing body of rugby union in England, has today (Friday) announced that Nigel Melville will step down as the organisation’s professional rugby director in December.
Melville (pictured), who joined the RFU in July 2016, has opted to leave the organisation to pursue new opportunities.
Melville led the professional rugby department at the RFU and played an important role in developing the organisation’s partnership with Premiership Rugby. Melville also served as interim chief executive of the RFU in the first half of 2019 ahead of Bill Sweeney’s appointment in May.
Melville formerly served as chief executive of USA Rugby for nine and a half years before stepping down in June 2016 to join the RFU. Melville’s tenure coincided with significant growth at USA Rugby, with San Francisco secure hosting rights for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2018, increased participation at youth level and record attendances for international matches.
On Melville’s departure from the RFU, Sweeney said: “On behalf of everyone at the RFU, I would like to thank Nigel for his valuable contribution to the organisation and to England Rugby. His professionalism and knowledge of rugby and sport is outstanding and he will be missed. In particular, I am grateful for the support that he has given to me since I joined. He leaves with our very best wishes for the future.”
Melville added: “I am proud of all that the organisation has achieved over the last three years during some challenging times. I believe that England Rugby is in a great place and that leaving after the 2019 Rugby World Cup is the right time as the RFU start a new era and prepare for the next Rugby World Cup cycle.”