Collier to step down as RLIF chief as ProSieben lands 2017 World Cup rights in Germany
David Collier, the experienced UK sports administrator, is to step down as chief executive of the Rugby League International Federation, the sport's governing body, when his contract expires next year.
Collier was appointed as the first full-time chief executive of the RLIF in March 2015, but will leave the organisation in May 2018.
He said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in this role and have met and worked with many great people involved with rugby league. I am convinced that the organisation and the sport is now superbly placed to take full advantage of the up-coming Rugby League World Cup and it will continue to grow and embed itself across the globe.
"There is still a great deal of work to do before I move on in May and I will be working as hard as possible to ensure that the RLIF can have a seamless transition to the next phase of its development."
Nigel Wood, chairman of the RLIF, said Collier had "achieved much during his time in office," noting he would be leaving the RLIF as a "stronger and better organisation."
Collier was previously chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board.
In his short tenure at the RLIF, Collier has focused on revamping the international calendar, which includes the Lions, made up of players from the four 'home nations', embarking on their first tour in more than a decade when they visit the southern hemisphere in 2019 and the launch of the Emerging Nations championship, as part of plans to support the development of tier two nations.
Plans to introduce a reduced-sides Nines World Cup in 2019 are still under discussion.
Collier has also overseen the planned expansion of the Rugby League World Cup to 16 nations from 2021, up from the 14 that competed in 2013, and the award of the 2021 and 2025 tournaments to England and USA/Canada, respectively.
Meanwhile, ProSiebenSat.1, the commercial broadcaster in Germany, has acquired rights to this year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
ProSieben Maxx, the free-to-air channel, is planning to show three group stage games live, along with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final on 2 December. Matches will also be streamed online.
The World Cup kicks off on 26 October.