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General Manager, Development – World Rugby

General Manager, Development – World Rugby


World Rugby is the international federation for the sport of Rugby Union headquartered in Dublin. Driven by a strategic mission to grow the global rugby family, World Rugby is both a game regulator and a game inspirer. It is responsible for the regulation and governance of a sport that is experiencing record global participation and fan-base growth.

World Rugby also plays a major role in inspiring new audiences to engage with the sport and owns some of the world’s biggest and best-loved major sports events, including the men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups, Rugby World Cup Sevens and the men’s and women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

The Role

The General Manager – Development will be responsible for ensuring the development strategy drives and sustains the growth of the game across all forms of participation.

The successful individual will lead a team of Rugby Services Managers and work with a wide range of organisations and colleagues on the successful delivery of development programmes across the world.

The right candidate for this job will love sport, have an affinity with rugby, and have a proven track record of working with multiple partners to achieve success.  The right candidate will also have excellent leadership qualities with the ability to lead and work in partnership with a diverse group of stakeholders from both a cultural diversity and volunteer management perspective.

This role will report into the Head of Development and International Relations and have responsibility for six Rugby Services Managers and one Regional General Manager and one Dublin based support colleague.

Principal Accountabilities

  • Review the current World Rugby development strategies and policies to ensure that these are fit for purpose and adequately relate to World Rugby’s strategic plan.  Once this review is complete working to ensure that these are reflected in regional and Union development, growth and retention plans.
  • Ensure that World Rugby Development Plans have a focus on both the growth and retention of players within the game.
  • Review the current system for the tracking of participation numbers in the game and develop strategies to create more veracity in the numbers and thus greater confidence in the actual growth of the game.
  • Review the system for the distribution of Grants to Unions and Regions and ensure that the system is transparent and fit for purpose moving forward.
  • Lead and participate in integration projects cross departmentally within World Rugby in particular with the Competitions, High Performance and Training & Education teams.
  • Provide advice on strategic, operational and Rugby development planning to Regions, regional staff and when required facilitate the production of those plans
  • Lead the development team ensuring they deliver World Rugby’s objectives and provide support to them in managing the relationship with the World Rugby Regional Associations.
  • Provide information, support and advice to the Head of Development & International Relations with regards to the strategies of the DIR Department and contribute to the overall strategy of World Rugby as required.
  • Share best practice activities within World Rugby and introduce relevant concepts from other sports development models
  • Provide advice in a consultancy capacity on regional and Union organisation structures flowing from the strategic plan, operational plans and governance models to ensure they can perform effectively
  • Ensure that appropriate budgeting processes and financial controls are in place within the monies managed through the DIR Development team and the grants to Regions and Unions to ensure the effective delivery of World Rugby investments and adequate return on investment.
  • Represent World Rugby as required at Regional, Union and external conferences and meetings.
  • Develop a communications and marketing strategy for the development and growth of the game.
  • Support and advise on other DIR and World Rugby projects as required.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Sport development or relevant tertiary qualification
  • 10+ years’ experience in a senior leadership position in a sports development environment
  • Proven track record of creating development strategies and leading on implementation
  • Experience of a range of Governance models in sport and how they support development
  • Ability to interpret financial data and information such as budgets, financial forecasts, cash-flow projections and balance sheets
  • Experience of leading high performing teams, preferably working with remote based individuals

Key Skills and Personal Attributes

  • Highly developed interpersonal skills
  • Ability to cope with cultural diversity
  • Excellent stakeholder management
  • People leadership and management skills
  • Project management skills
  • Strong communication and presentation skills
  • Highly proficient in technology required to assist role
  • Fluency in a second language would be highly advantageous (preference French / Spanish)
  • Knowledge of Rugby is an advantage


  • Strong Leadership
  • Strong Communication
  • Strategic and operational planning
  • Consulting and facilitation
  • Organisational Development and Governance
  • Budget Management
  • Reporting and Communication
  • Diplomatic Representation


  • The role will be based at World Rugby headquarters in Dublin
  • There will be a requirement for international travel to ensure the team of RGM/RSMs are adequately supported and World Rugby is represented at the right level in relevant environments


Applications must be submitted before 1800 GMT on 29 December via SRi‘s Apply Now button above.

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Tagged as: Development, Dublin, Ireland, Rugby, World Rugby

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