World Rugby appoints France 2023 General Manager

11 Dec 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

World Rugby has appointed Michel Poussau as Rugby World Cup 2023 General Manager.

Poussau is a former IMG Executive Director and joins World Rugby from IMG’s Tokyo office, where he supported the development and delivery of the commercial rights programme for Rugby World Cup 2019. 

Based in Paris and reporting to World Rugby COO and Rugby World Cup Tournament Director Alan Gilpin, Poussau will oversee the day-to-day management of the World Rugby presence in Paris and day-to-day collaboration with the France 2023 organising committee to ensure that the international federation’s core hosting criteria and goals are achieved.

Poussau said: "I am delighted to be joining World Rugby at such an exciting time for the sport with record growth, interest and success, largely driven by the men’s Rugby World Cup.

“After a very special Japan 2019 tournament that raised the bar, I am excited and motivated in working in collaboration with our friends from the France 2023 organising committee, national and local governments and all stakeholders to assist in the delivery of an event that will set new standards on and off the field, engaging a nation, driving the sustainability agenda and inspire a new generation of rugby fans.”

World Rugby Chief Operating Officer and Rugby World Cup Tournament Director Alan Gilpin said: “Rugby World Cup 2023 is an exciting project that presents an enormous opportunity for rugby to further its impressive fan and participation growth around the world. 

“Major event delivery is complex, operating within a finite timescale with multiple stakeholders. Successfully converting the collective objectives of World Rugby and the France 2023 organising committee requires someone with a proven ability and deep understanding of the rugby and French sporting landscapes.

“Michel has a proven track record in these key areas, knows Rugby World Cup intimately and we are sure that he will make a hugely positive impact in leading the World Rugby team on the ground in Paris, furthering the superb relationship with our friends at the organising committee and delivering a truly spectacular Rugby World Cup 2023.”

Previously, Poussau has worked in a number of roles within the French sport market on projects such as UEFA EURO 2016, as well as serving as Brand Director for Football at Sportfive France (now Lagardere Sports and Entertainment), and as IMG Commercial Operations Manager at Rugby World Cup 2007, which also took place in France.