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RFU rocked by Brown resignation

Steve Brown has confirmed that he will step down from his role as chief executive of the Rugby Football Union at the end of the year, just 14 months after he took up the role and less than a year out from the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Brown took up the reins at English rugby union’s governing body last year, replacing Ian Ritchie, and departs amid fierce criticism of the financial management of the organisation from former chief executive Francis Baron. His departure follows the redundancies of 64 employees at Twickenham earlier this year.

“This has been a very difficult decision for me to make and I informed the RFU board earlier this week that the time is right for me to step down and take some time out,” said Brown. “I’ve loved my time in rugby and am deeply proud to have made a contribution to a sport I love. It has been a fascinating seven-and-a-half years and a great honour to lead the RFU over the last 14 months.”

Director of professional rugby Nigel Melville will act as interim chief executive from January 1, until a replacement is found.

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