The International Rugby Board today announced a number of major new appointments to its Dublin based executive team. These include Mike Miller, the former Controller of BBC TV Sport, as Chief Executive Officer, and the former Australian international Michael Lynagh who will be undertaking a global development and promotions role for the sport.

Mike Miller (46) has over two decades of experience in the media and sports business. He has worked in newspapers, radio, television and the electronic media, becoming the Head of Sport at Channel 4 UK and then the Controller of Television Sport at the BBC. At both organisations he was responsible for all sports editorial output and for all sports rights negotiations. He was also a member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) Sports Group Executive Bureau, where he was involved in discussions with the IOC, FIFA, the IAAF and other governing bodies.

Mike’s experience outside sport includes three years as Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor for the Big Breakfast (their morning general entertainment and news programme) and three years as Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor for the Internet.

Michael Lynagh (38) is one of the best known and most respected figures in the world game. His distinguished international playing career spanned 11 years during which he won 72 caps and scored a record 911 points. He also captained Australia and was a member of the World Cup winning side in 1991. Since his playing career finished four years ago, he has gained distinction as a writer and broadcaster on the game.

Huw Morgan (41) joins the IRB as Commercial Director having previously been Commercial Director of the Arrows Formula 1 Team and prior to that Chief Executive of Harlequins. He was a Board Member of English First Division Rugby and assisted in the negotiations which led to the return of the English Clubs to European competition. His association with professional sport commenced as European Operations Manager on the European PGA Tour Courses Project.

Mark Egan (35) takes up the post of IRB World Sevens Series Manager. Having represented Irish Universities and the Irish Under 21 side while at Trinity College Dublin, he won three Blues at Oxford University, captaining the side to a memorable victory in 1990.

He also played for the Barbarians and represented Ireland at Under 25 level. Following a six year spell as a Project Manager with Kobe Steel in Japan, he joined the Irish Development Agency managing projects in the Telecommunications and e Commerce sectors.

Steve Griffiths (50) takes on the role of IRB Referee Manager, responsible for the IRB Panel of referees and assessors and for refereeing matters at IRB Tournaments. Formerly the IRB Referee Development Officer with responsibilities for all aspects of referee matters. He joined the IRB in 1997 from the RFU where he held the post of National Referee Development Officer. He has a background in Human Resource Management and consultancy, which he combined with refereeing at international level.

Bruce Cook (50) becomes IRB Training Manager having been National Referee Training Manager with the Australian Rugby Union. Formerly a lecturer in Human Physiology at the University of Newcastle, he has coaching and refereeing qualifications and was an active referee in New South Wales for 15 years. He has experience in developing training programmes for both coaches and referees and he will be involved in the development and implementation of IRB training programmes.

Gethin Jenkins (31) takes on the role of Competitions Manager. He joined the IRB as a Tournaments Administrator in April 2000. A graduate of the University of Wales, Swansea, he received a BSc Honours degree in Geography before becoming Sports President. He became Competitions Administrator, running nine different sports for the British Universities Sports Association and later worked for the Welsh Rugby Union at the Millennium Stadium.

During his time with the IRB he has been heavily involved in the organisation of the World Sevens Series, Rugby World Cup Sevens and the upcoming Women’s Rugby World Cup.

Regional Development Managers The process of appointing Regional Development Managers (RDM) has also been completed.

The following Managers are now in place –

Jarrad Gallagher Asia
Michel Arpaillange FIRA
Tom Jones NAWIRA
Jorge Braceras CONSUR
Sas Bailey CAR (Anglophone)
To be confirmed CAR (Francophone)

In addition as part of the IRB’s determination to ensure that the game remains drug free the post of the Anti-Doping Manager has been advertised. The role will involve co-ordinating, management and development of the International Rugby Board’s Anti-Doping Programme and related activities.

Responsibilities will include the arrangement and implementation of Tournament Anti-Doping Testing and Out of Competition Testing, liasing with Member Unions and other Anti-Doping bodies and the co-ordination of educational initiatives.

IRB Chairman Vernon Pugh QC commenting on the appointments said: ‘We are delighted to announce the above appointments, and wish all of our new people well in their future with the IRB.

‘Rugby has been transformed as a world game in the last years and the IRB will continue to push and extend the frontiers. Our dedicated staff have achieved much with limited resources. The introduction of additional and significant expertise, spanning the talents of business and rugby, will assist greatly in improving our services to our Member Unions, delivering the IRB’s strategic objectives and continuing rugby’s growth as a global sport.’

For further information please contact:

Michelle Treacy
Assistant Communications Manager
T: 353 1 2409 214
F: 353 1 2409 201
M: (+ 353) 87 286 5826