Phil Kearns appointed to Board of Rugby World Cup Local Organising Company

Rugby Au

Preparations for Australia’s Rugby World Cup hosting continue with the 67-cap Wallaby and dual Rugby World Cup winner Phil Kearns AM being appointed as a Director on the Board of the Local Operating Company (LOC).

The announcement follows the earlier appointment of Chris Stanley as the Managing Director of the LOC, as well as the selection of Sir Rod Eddington as the independent Chair of the Board of Directors for both the men’s event in 2027 and the women’s in 2029.

All three were instrumental in Australia’s bid to host the Rugby World Cups in 2027 and 2029.

Wallaby Number 681, Kearns played 67 Tests at Hooker for Australia, and is one of only 21 players to have won multiple Rugby World Cups – achieving the feat in 1991 and 1999.

Since his retirement as a player in 1999, Kearns has gone on to be a commentator, has devoted his time to a variety of charities, was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2017, and has built an extensive career in business that sees him in the role of Chief Executive Officer of a major residential building company.

Kearns’ appointment comes ahead of World Rugby finalising the composition of the full Board of the LOC, with an announcement to come regarding its completion.

Phil Kearns said he was thrilled and privileged to be selected to continue on the journey to delivering the Rugby World Cup in Australia.

“Obviously, I have a great affinity with the Rugby World Cup, having been to three of them as a player and winning two.

“Nothing fills you more with pride than representing your country on one of the largest sporting stages in the world – and then to have success is mind-blowing.

“Unfortunately, I did not get to play at home in Australia in 2003 – you feel a certain responsibility representing your country, especially on home soil, and it gives me a great deal of satisfaction to be able to do that again in bringing this massive event home to Australia once more.

“I was proud to be involved with a fantastic group of people, governments and stakeholders that all worked tirelessly to ensure the Rugby World Cup returned to Australian shores – and I am excited to be able to play a role in finishing the job, developing and delivering the event, and leaving a lasting legacy for Rugby in this country.”

A collaboration between World Rugby and Rugby Australia, the Rugby World Cup Australia Local Operating Company is majority owned by World Rugby’s events arm, which is responsible for the delivery of all men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups through to at least 2033 and designed to ignite global Rugby interest, fans, participation growth and value.

The Rugby World Cups will be the jewel in the crown of an exciting Rugby calendar for fans in Australia over the next decade which features the British and Irish Lions tour in 2025 and Rugby Sevens at the 2026 Commonwealth and 2032 Olympic Games. This runway presents a golden opportunity to supercharge Rugby fandom, commercial value and participation across the sport-loving nation.

Rugby Australia Chairman Hamish McLennan added: “Phil played a significant role in our bid team, and it only makes sense for him to continue on and see the job through with the LOC.

“He was a wonderful Wallaby, and he has demonstrated great passion for the Rugby World Cup, and for the game of Rugby in Australia – it is clear that he sees these as not just major events for Rugby in Australia, but as a genuine opportunity to shift the sporting landscape in this country.

“That is what we need, and along with the appointment of Sir Rod Eddington as Chair, and Chris Stanley as Managing Director, we have continuity that can build on the vision, and the foundation that has been established to deliver two incredible events that will be key moments in our golden decade of Rugby.”

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