RFU choose Ritchie

The Rugby Football Union have appointed Ian Ritchie as the organistation's new chief executive. [more]

RFU choose Ritchie

The Rugby Football Union have appointed Ian Ritchie as the organistation’s new chief executive.

The appointment of the former Wimbledon tennis boss comes six months after former CEO John Steele left his position following the unsuccessful search for an elite performance director.

Ritchie has held the same role with the All England Lawn Tennis Club since 2005 and also holds senior non-executive positions with a number of the UK's leading sporting organisations.

His will now be tasked with rebuilding England Rugby’s damaged reputation after the fallout of a disappointing World Cup campaign and will also lead the search for a new permanent team manager or head coach following Martin Johnson’s resignation and Stuart Lancaster’s temporary appointment.

"The opportunity to lead an organisation which I know has so many dedicated, talented people is one I relish," said Ritchie.

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"I believe English rugby has a very bright future, culminating in a home World Cup in 2015. I am determined to help rugby create a legacy from the tournament that will benefit the sport for generations.

"The RFU have great commercial partners and a very sound financial base, underpinning the development of rugby union at grassroots and elite level."

Ritchie’s appointment allows the RFU to celebrate a second piece of good news in as many weeks following the promotion of Lancaster, Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell as the England senior side’s coaching panel for next year’s RBS 6 Nations.

Having come in for plenty of criticism after numerous off-the-field controversies and a leaked report into England’s World Cup woes, the RFU now believe they have the man to help them ensure 2012 starts in a far more positive manner than 2011 has ended.

"Ian clearly demonstrated the required knowledge and capabilities across a broad range of areas," said RFU Board Member Ian Metcalfe.

"He was the stand-out candidate with his combination of business acumen, leadership qualities and background in sports administration.

"We could not have wished for a better candidate who is so highly respected across sport and the business sectors."

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