Dan Payne has been appointed as the new chief executive of Rugby Americas.
Rugby Americas comprises representatives of World Rugby regional associations Rugby Americas North and Sudamérica Rugby, and works to drive the growth of elite cross-regional competitions. The body also organises development initiatives to ensure North and South America achieve optimal outcomes working together.
Payne joins the governing body from USA Rugby, where he spent three years serving as chief executive. His appointment as Rugby Americas chief executive comes during a period of record growth for the sport in the region, which is now home to more than 2.3 million players and 23 World Rugby-affiliated national unions.
In his new role, Payne will be the senior World Rugby employee in the Americas and will oversee the growth of the game in the region. He will work with regional associations to strengthen professional and domestic competitions, further the reach of development programmes and convert new commercial opportunities.
Payne will take up his new position following this year’s Rugby World Cup Sevens event in San Francisco. He will effectively replace Tom Jones, who is retiring from his position as World Rugby’s regional general manager for the Americas.
Agustín Pichot, president of Rugby Americas and World Rugby vice chairman, said: “These are exciting times for the growth of the sport, and Dan’s knowledge and expertise of rugby in the Americas, proven-track record with USA Rugby and passion for the development of the game, make him perfectly suited for this important role.”
Brett Gosper, chief executive of World Rugby, added: “Dan will enable us to further strengthen our strategic activities in partnership with Rugby Americas North and Sudamérica Rugby to assist our unions in growing and sustaining a thriving game for all across the Americas.”