World Rugby has announced the appointment of Mihir Warty as Director of Strategy.

Warty will join the international federation’s leadership team in late February and arrives at an exciting time for the sport as it continues to penetrate new markets and experience strong fan and participation growth.

As Director of Strategy, Warty will be responsible for strengthening and driving World Rugby’s approach to global game growth and project execution, including the development of a new strategic plan, which will provide the blueprint for a strengthened, growing and innovating sport.

Warty brings with him a wealth of proven strategy development experience in similar roles with Sport England, BBC Sport, the Centre for Economics & Business Research Ltd, Arthur Andersen and more latterly MullenLowe Group.

World Rugby Chief Executive Officer Brett Gosper said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Mihir Warty to the team as Director of Strategy. Rugby has grown exponentially in recent years and in many respects World Rugby has evolved from simply being a game-regulator to a game-inspirer, partnering with our unions and regions to maximise the sport’s reach and impact in emerging markets.

“Mihir joins with exceptional credentials. As Head of Strategy for the BBC and BBC Sport, Mihir injected a data-driven approach to the broadcaster’s multi-media approach to build new audiences and applied the same successful approach with Sport England, attracting 700,000 new participants during a time of unparalleled success for English athletes and teams.

"Mihir will provide disciplined and imaginative thinking that will enable World Rugby to optimise its development in key areas as well as the development of a new strategic plan that will propel the sport into the next decade.”

Warty added: “I am thrilled to be joining World Rugby at this time in its journey and looking forward to building on my experience in sports broadcasting and development at one of the world’s leading international sport federations.’