World Rugby has announced the appointment of Mick Wright as Chief of Operations within the international federation’s new ‘EventsCo’ division, bringing a wealth of major event and leadership experience to the role which will be central to the organisation of rugby’s biggest events.
With World Rugby transitioning to a joint venture hosting model across its portfolio of global properties, Wright will work closely with Chief Executive Alan Gilpin, Chief of Events Michel Poussau and the wider events operations team to optimise the new model, which underpins a golden decade of rugby content spearheaded by three women’s and two men’s Rugby World Cups through to 2033.
Hugely respected within the major events industry, Wright is synonymous with major international multi-sport and single sport events, notably serving as Executive Director at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and leading the logistics planning and operations for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He has also consulted for a number of major federations and events, including the IOC, the FA and the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Significantly, Wright is no stranger to World Rugby. As a senior leadership figure within organising committees, he performed the mission-critical roles of Head of Tournament Services for Rugby World Cup 2015 (England) and Executive Director of Operations and Event Delivery for Rugby World Cup 2019 (Japan) and has considerable understanding and experience of World Rugby’s game growth mission and structures.
Wright said: “I am delighted to be joining World Rugby at such an exciting time for the sport. I know the team well through my Rugby World Cup and multi-sport event experience, and the organisation’s vision, coupled with a clear mandate for growth, including the remodelling of its major events and onboarding world-class talent, represents a golden opportunity not just to lead in this space, but to be transformational.
“I am passionate about rugby and its proven ability to bring people together. Through this role, I hope to play my part in ensuring that the events that we plan and deliver have a positive and sustainable impact on the sport, its reputation and ability to grow, not just in its heartlands, but into new nations and demographics.”
World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said: “Mick is enormously respected within the global major sports event environment and we are delighted to be welcoming him to World Rugby at a time when we are managing a period of exciting change within the organisation.
“Mick’s wealth of global events experience will be important as we establish a dedicated EventsCo structure that will oversee and unlock the potential of our new Rugby World Cup joint venture host delivery model for future Rugby World Cups in line with our strategic mission to accelerate the global growth of the sport, making rugby more accessible and more relevant to more people more of the time.”
Wright is a keen champion of community rugby and its power to unite communities, and he regularly coaches and plays Touch Rugby and is a member of Fullerians RFC in Watford, England.