RFUTHE Rugby Football Union’s Board of Directors held its scheduled November meeting today and approved the following:

  • Martyn Thomas has decided to leave his post as RFU Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on December 16, 2011 following the end of his contract
  • RFU Chief Financial Officer Stephen Brown, in addition to continuing to fulfil his current responsibilities, will become RFU Acting CEO on December 16, 2011 until the start date of a new permanent CEO
  • Martyn Thomas will on December 16 relinquish the chairmanship of England Rugby 2015 and directorship of European Rugby Cup Ltd. He will also step down from the International Rugby Board Council and Six Nations Committee
  • The Cotton Review will not take place. However, the Board has committed to an Independent Review to ensure the best performance systems are in place going towards RWC 2015.  This Independent Review will be undertaken after the conclusion of the Professional Game Board Review. The make-up of the review panel and terms of reference will be confirmed at a later date

RFU Chairman Paul Murphy said: “On behalf of the RFU I would like to thank Martyn for his contribution and dedication to rugby and the Union over the years, particularly in his last six as Chairman and latterly as Acting Chief Executive. He has been an integral part of the growth of the Union and the game as well as securing the 2015 Rugby World Cup for England as hosts. I know he will continue to support the Union with all his efforts until his contract ends.”

“As a sport we face some exciting and challenging times leading up to 2015, which will be a massive opportunity for the game in this country and as a Union it is important that the leadership structure is in place as soon as possible. The recruitment of new Chief Executive is well underway with an appointment expected by December 14. The Board has been hugely impressed with Stephen Brown since he joined. He is a great asset and we are fortunate to have someone of his calibre to lead the Union in this period.”

Martyn Thomas said: “It has been an honour to be part of the Union, most particularly for the past six months as Acting Chief Executive where I have been lucky enough to get to know better the RFU staff who work tirelessly for the good of the game. Stephen Brown for one has been a phenomenal addition to the Executive Team and, having got to know him very well over the last few months, I have total faith that he will provide the stability and leadership needed at this important time.

“I feel that now is the right time to spend more time with my family. As a result I have decided not to renew my contract at its conclusion in December.”