Preparations for Australia’s Rugby World Cup hosting continue to advance with the appointment of Chris Stanley as Managing Director of the 2027 Local Operating Company.

  • Australia hosting men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups in 2027 and 2029
  • Showcase events at the heart of a golden decade of rugby events in Australia
  • Chris Stanley appointed Managing Director of the 2027 Local Operating Company
  • Hosting preparations accelerating in partnership with Rugby Australia

Preparations for Australia’s Rugby World Cup hosting continue to advance with the appointment of Chris Stanley as Managing Director of the 2027 Local Operating Company (LOC). The announcement follows the first meeting of the LOC in Sydney this week.

Highly regarded in the major sport’s event business world, Stanley’s appointment follows the announcement 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.

Stanley joins from MI Global Partners, where as CEO he has developed a strong reputation as a leading expert in major sports event planning and delivery over the past 22 years, managing projects across a broad range of industries, including major sports events and Rugby World Cup.

With preparations advancing at pace, Stanley will join the organising company in July and initial priorities will include resourcing of the organising company and furthering engagement with state governments and host cities as the pivotal venue selection process progresses.

Stanley said: “Having worked across every Rugby World Cup since 2003 and building on my role as an Executive Director Planning and Integration for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, the prospect of being involved in delivering the most prestigious men’s and women’s rugby events in Australia to help grow the sport both domestically and around the world, is very exciting.

“I look forward to collaborating with colleagues at World Rugby, Rugby Australia and the Australian Government to bring to life not just great sporting events, but outstanding events that will engage a nation, set new standards in sustainable impact and drive rugby forwards.”

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, fan, 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. The content presents a golden opportunity to supercharge rugby fandom, commercial value and participation across the sport-loving nation.

Rugby World Cup Director Michel Poussau said: “With a wealth of experience in major sports event planning and project delivery, Chris Stanley is perfectly placed to drive forward the establishment of the new Rugby World Cup Australia Local Operating Company under the World Rugby events arm.

“Chris has an intimate knowledge of both Rugby World Cup, having consulted on every tournament since 2003, and also the events organisation environment in Australia, in which he is widely regarded as a leading expert. This experience, coupled with a passion for Rugby World Cup and major events in Australia, will help deliver what we believe will be transformative Rugby World Cups.”

Rugby Australia Chief Executive Officer Andy Marinos added: “Chris has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the delivery of Rugby World Cups and major global events.

“It is why our team made the call to have him involved as part of our successful bids for 2027 and 2029 in a key advisory role. From our perspective, given his experience, and the skill set required under the new delivery model, Chris is an ideal candidate as Rugby World Cup 2027 Managing Director.

“Along with the appointment of Sir Rod Eddington as Chair, Chris brings great continuity and is well placed to build on the great 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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