World Rugby has announced that Rassie Erasmus and Bryan Habana are among a host of leading international coaches and players who have been appointed to its interim committees.
Reflecting a game that continues to experience strong participation, fan and commercial growth across 127 national unions, the rugby committee, which presides over the on-field development of the sport, is being expanded into three specialist committees – high performance, sevens strategy and community rugby – featuring leading players and coaches.
Erasmus, a former Springbok captain and coach who led South Africa to their third Rugby World Cup triumph last year in Japan, has been appointed alongside Steve Hansen, Eddie Jones, Fabien Galthié, Mario Ledesma, Gregor Townsend, Lesley McKenzie and David Nucifora as coaching representatives on the new high-performance fifteens committee.
Habana, holder of the Boks’ try-scoring record of 67 tries in 124 Tests, along with Conrad Smith, Rachael Burford, Dr Jamie Roberts and Dr Araba Chintoh have been appointed as player representatives with medical expertise on the same committee.
With the core objective of contributing to the decision-making process, the player representatives will combine extensive rugby experience with relevant expertise, including broadcast, digital media, welfare, medical, commercial and legal business backgrounds.
With exponential growth across emerging rugby nations, women’s rugby and rugby sevens, the restructure of this particular committee will enable World Rugby to expand its focus on specific strategies to support the sport from the grassroots up.