Preparations for England’s Rugby World Cup 2025
hosting have reached another significant milestone with the
appointment of Sarah Massey as Managing Director of the Local
Operating Company (LOC), a joint venture between World Rugby and
Sarah’s appointment follows that of Gill Whitehead
as Independent Chair of the Board of Directors.
“On behalf of the Board, I am delighted to be
welcoming Sarah Massey to the Rugby World Cup 2025 team.
Attracting someone of Sarah’s calibre, experience, expertise and
insights from a host of major sports events is another
demonstration of intent for a Rugby World Cup that will be so much
more than a world-class event,” said Gill. “As an inspirer, motivator and accelerant, England
2025 will change the game, attracting new fans and participants to
the sport, championing equality and changing the game for a new
generation of incredible women in rugby.”
Steeped in sport’s leadership, global event
strategy and planning experience, Sarah’s impressive track record
reflects the ambitions of a tournament that aims to change the
game for women and girls in rugby, making the sport more relevant
and accessible to new audiences.
Sarah has operated at the top end of sport for
more than 30 years in roles across Olympic and Commonwealth Games,
rugby, cricket and hockey World Cups as well as international and
national sport governing bodies.
Sarah joins the LOC following her role as CEO of
the World Athletics Championship Oregon22, an event
that smashed broadcast, digital and fan experience records and set
high standards for governance, environmental and social
sustainability for future editions.
That was preceded by seven
years at the International Hockey Federation as Events, Marketing
and Strategy Director, at a time which saw exponential growth for
the sport, as well as working with the International Tennis
Federation leading their business strategy planning and
development of their ‘Advantage All’ equality strategy.
With preparations advancing at pace, Sarah
joins the organising company this month as a number of key
foundational strategies are completed, including the city and
venue selection process, ticketing, domestic and international
legacy strategy finalisation.
“Rugby has always been a big part of
my life and a catalyst for my career in sport. It began working
for the Rugby Football Union and led me into working on a
transformative Rugby World Cup 1995. It is that same opportunity
to change the game, with women and girls at the forefront of World
Rugby and RFU’s growth strategies, that really attracted me to
this role,” Sarah said. “Working as an unified LOC, in full partnership with
World Rugby, the RFU, UK Sport and the host cities, we have the
opportunity to achieve something very special, impactful and that
will ultimately take the women’s game and rugby more broadly to
the next level.”