The International Rugby Board (IRB) has announced that the second phase of its modernisation programme has begun with an internal management restructure. This move represented the next step in the implementation of the new strategic plan and governance structure adopted by the organisation last November.

As part of this restructure the IRB today announced that Steve Griffiths, currently the Referee Manager, would be taking up the new role of Operations Manager, Strategy.

The position has been created to ensure the key elements of the strategic plan, including the development of the organisation’s operation plan and a staff development programme, are delivered.

The Operations Manager, Strategy will ensure that internal management practices, including inter-departmental working relationships are enhanced, implement professional staff development initiatives and oversee the establishment of project teams that will be responsible for delivering key elements of the strategic plan.

Steve Griffiths will remain in the position of Referee Manager until a qualified replacement is appointed. The IRB will advertise for a new Referee Manager in the near future.

David Carrigy has moved to the Council & Member Services Department from the Development Department to take up the role of Operations Manager, Council & Member Services. He will manage the IRB trust investment programme and approvals processes regarding rugby equipment and playing surfaces.

RWCL has also engaged the services of media professional Jayne Pearce as a Communications Manager. Her primary responsibility will be to liase with the French media in the build-up to RWC 2007 and to assist in the management of the media facilities operation. She will initially work on a part-time basis and will provide her services full-time in the lead up to the tournament in 2007.

A former media director of the International Association of Athletic Federations she has worked in varying media roles on: four Olympic Games; two World Athletics Championships; 2001 World Indoor Championships; four FIFA World Cups; and was venue press chief for the rugby sevens at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games.

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