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O'Neill joins World Cup brains trust

Fri, 02 Mar 2012 00:00
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Australian Rugby Union (ARU) chief executive John O'Neill was appointed to the 2015 Rugby World Cup board on Thursday, as was Wales Rugby Union (WRU) chairman David Pickering.

O'Neill and Pickering will join International Rugby Board (IRB) chairman Bernard Lapasset of France and South African vice-chairman Oregan Hoskins on the board overseeing the 2015 World Cup in England.

Former England captain Bill Beaumont did not seek re-appointment due to a potential conflict of interest should he become chairman of the Rugby Football Union.

Dr Syd Millar, the former IRB chairman, also stood aside, with Pickering and O'Neill elected unopposed.

As well as overseeing plans for 2015, the board is responsible for presiding over the delivery of the 2013 World Cup Sevens in Russia, the 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup in France and working on the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

"These are exciting times for rugby and Rugby World Cup properties continue to go from strength to strength," said Lapasset.

"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," he added.

In October, during the World Cup in New Zealand, O'Neill - who plans to stand down from his ARU post in 2013 - said the IRB had to tackle the negative financial consequences affecting leading southern hemisphere sides when they participated in rugby union's global showcase tournament.

O'Neill said the ARU would lose AUS$16 million from taking part in the 2011 World Cup, with the amount for the three SANZAR nations hitting AUS$38 million

O'Neill, in a criticism of the IRB, added at the time: "We're 16 years into the professional era and a lot of things have happened. But everyone's got to move with the times and I think it's timely to have a serious look at the governance and management structures of the IRB."

AFP

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