Benjamin Morel has been announced as the new chief executive of Six Nations Rugby.
Morel will take on the role from 5th November, replacing John Feehan, who stepped down in April after a 16-year association with the Six Nations.
A former managing director for the National Basketball Association (NBA), Morel was an important figure in overseeing the league’s international growth – a factor that was key to him being unanimously selected by the Six Nations Council recruitment panel, led by chairman, Pat Whelan.
In his new role Morel will be charged with delivering a high-quality tournament which gets underway in February.
Morel – who has French, British and Scottish heritage – said of his appointment: “I am relishing the role of CEO at the Six Nations, an organisation with so much history and prestige. It is particularly exciting to be part of the organisation that delivers rugby's greatest championship.”
Whelan added: "Ben was the outstanding candidate during our extensive recruitment process. His vast experience, in particular his background in the NBA will serve as a great benefit to our Championship.
“We are certain that his expertise, with that of our staff and executive team, will help in continuing to grow the brand of Six Nations Rugby which is loved by millions of fans across the globe."
Morel’s NBA background consisted of managing large amounts of staff across various lines of business. Morel stepped down from the pre-eminent North American basketball league in July this year after 20 years with the organisation.
The Six Nations enters its 20th year in 2019, with Morel having the task of making the event a fitting appetiser before next year’s World Cup.