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DUBLIN, IRE – World Rugby today announced the appointment of Dan Payne as Chief Executive Officer of Rugby Americas. Following his tenure as CEO with USA Rugby, Payne looks to continue his aspiration of growing rugby, in a new arena.
To ensure continuity through the transition, USA Rugby will be naming an Interim CEO in the very near future as the executive search for a permanent Chief Executive Officer continues.
Under the presidency of Agustín Pichot, Rugby Americas is the driving-force behind the advancement of community and elite rugby within the Americas, and comprises representatives of World Rugby Regional Associations, Rugby Americas North and Sudamerica Rugby.
“I’m extremely excited to work with and carry out the vision Agustín has implemented in progressing the game across the Americas,” said Payne, “His passion is unparalleled, and it was a leading force in my decision to assume this role. Passion, regardless of the endeavor, inspires me. Gus’s happens to be centered around our great game. Furthermore, the responsibility of receiving the baton from Tom Jones and upholding the standard in which he served the game in the region for such a committed tenure is an honor.”
The appointment comes at a time when rugby in the Americas is experiencing record growth and reflects World Rugby’s strategic mission to accelerate participation, commercial and fan development across North and South America – home to more than 2.3 million players, affiliated to World Rugby via 23 national unions.
Payne will be the senior World Rugby employee across North and South America having primary responsibility for the growth of the game, working in partnership with the regional associations to strengthen professional and domestic competitions, further the reach of development programs and convert new commercial opportunities.
World Rugby Vice-Chairman and Rugby Americas President Agustín Pichot said: “We are delighted to appoint Dan Payne as Chief Executive Officer of Rugby Americas. These are exciting times for the growth of the sport, and Dan’s knowledge and expertise of rugby in the Americas, proven-track record with USA rugby and passion for the development of the game, make him perfectly suited for this important role.”
World Rugby Chief Executive Officer Brett Gosper added: “Dan will enable us to further strengthen our strategic activities in partnership with Rugby Americas North and Sudamerica Rugby to assist our unions in growing and sustaining a thriving game across the Americas.”
Payne Concluded, “This role affords me the opportunity to further drive the aspirations I have for growing rugby. We must continue to lean on partnership across our member countries to push the game forward. he next 90 days will be very exciting for the United States and the Americas as a whole.
I’m excited to continue supporting Major League Rugby in the its inaugural season and also usher in a milestone event with the Rugby World Cup Sevens this July in my final weeks with the union. We will put 100,000+ fans thru the turnstiles at AT&T Park in San Francisco for rugby in American and that’s something the entire American rugby community can be a part of and take pride in.”
When asked what charge he will leave USA Rugby and the American rugby community, Payne referred to an address from Pichot following the 2017 World Rugby General Assembly, “Let’s continue to strengthen the avenues our community has ahead of us. From administrators to coaches, to players, to volunteers; keep the beliefs of rugby strong and understand that no matter your role, you are a value to the game.”