The International Rugby Board (IRB) has announced that John O’Neill has stepped down as a director of Rugby World Cup Limited, the company that operates rugby union’s showpiece quadrennial national team tournament.
O’Neill, a former chief executive of the Australian Rugby Union, cited personal reasons for his decision to resign from the board after nearly two years as a director. The IRB executive committee said that it would discuss the timing of the appointment of a new Rugby World Cup Limited director at its next meeting in March.
“For my own personal reasons, I have resigned as a director of Rugby World Cup Limited, effective immediately,” O’Neill said. “I wish the Board and management every success for both Rugby World Cup 2015 in England and Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.” Rugby World Cup board chairman Bernard Lapasset said that the governing body had “reluctantly accepted” O’Neill’s resignation.
He added: “The board would like to thank John for his exceptional contribution and his tireless dedication to strengthening the Rugby World Cup brand, profile and profitability for the benefit of the global game. There is no doubt that his vision, energy, expertise and leadership has been instrumental in delivering the strong foundations for what promises to be hugely successful Rugby World Cups in England and Japan, while driving forward a review of future delivery of our flagship event.”