Six Nations Rugby, the governing body behind the annual European rugby union tournament, has appointed Navin Singh as its new chief operating officer.

He joins from English soccer’s Football Association (FA) governing body, and will have a “specific focus on driving the organization’s commercial, fan engagement, and growth strategy.” He will also assume the responsibilities of Craig Maxwell, the Six Nations’ chief commercial officer, who is now stepping into an advisory role for health reasons.

Singh is leaving the FA after just 18 months spent as commercial director, as the body considers a deal to sell international rights to its main FA Cup competition to English soccer's top-tier Premier League in a move that would represent a significant commercial shake-up for the domestic game.

Singh had been responsible for negotiating with media companies and agencies for these rights.

The FA initially went to market with its FA Cup rights tender in January and was understood to have been finalizing a four-year deal with international sports marketing agency Infront covering several broadcast territories outside of the UK, believed to be worth $37.5 million per season.

However, the FA then re-opened the bidding process earlier this month (July) and seems close to striking a deal with the Premier League. Infront is now exploring legal action and has said it is “deeply unhappy” with the FA’s decision.

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Tom Harrison, Six Nations Rugby’s chief executive, has said, regarding Singh’s appointment: “This is an exciting time for the sport, and Six Nations Rugby is at the heart of this, but it is also a hugely poignant and emotional one for our business. Craig is stepping down from his full-time role due to illness, which brings with it changes to the team. Craig continues to make a massive contribution to rugby union and its people, and he epitomizes the values of rugby in everything he does.

“Navin, therefore, joins the business at a significant moment for Six Nations Rugby. He brings with him a vast amount of experience across the media rights, commercial strategy, and fan engagement space."

Singh added: “Six Nations Rugby and its championships hold such a strong position within the world of sport and entertainment. The opportunity to be part of shaping their future growth, and work alongside the six unions, broadcasters, and commercial partners is a huge privilege, and one I am relishing.”

Aside from his time at the FA, Singh has also held senior roles at the United States Golf Association, the World Wrestling Entertainment promotion, and the Wasserman agency.

In the last month, Six Nations Rugby and SANZAAR, the alliance covering rugby union’s major southern hemisphere nations, announced they will launch a new men’s national team competition in 2026 that will take place in the existing July and November international rugby windows.