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IRB to rebrand as ‘World Rugby’

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The International Rugby Board (IRB) will become ‘World Rugby’ from November 19, 2014, as part of a major rebranding programme. 

Global Rugby participation has boomed by more than two million to 6.6 million players over the past four years, driven by the commercial success of Rugby World Cup, the IRB’s development strategies and record investment, strong and vibrant Unions and Rugby’s re-inclusion in the Olympic Games.
With Rugby aspiring to inspire and engage new audiences and players around the world, the rebrand reflects the organisation’s mission to build a stronger connection with fans, players and new audiences worldwide.

The rebrand will have no impact on Rugby World Cup 2015 branding or positioning, which will remain as it is, with the iconic logo running throughout the current event cycle.

IRB Chairman, Bernard Lapasset said:

Rugby continues to thrive, reach out and engage new audiences and participants in record numbers and the IRB has been at the heart of that growth.

We are committed to furthering that growth beyond our traditional family and fan base with a public that expects to be entertained, informed and interacted with. This move is more than just a name change, it is a mission statement.

IRB Chief Executive, Brett Gosper added:

In a crowded global entertainment and sporting marketplace, the role of the IRB has evolved from Game regulator to Game inspirer. With this we must continue to appeal to those who know and love the sport and its heritage, while attracting, engaging and inspiring those who have no connection with the sport across multiple cultures and languages around the world.

World Rugby collectively has the ingredients and tools to do just that. Rugby’s global appeal is founded and positioned on its unique character-building values and inclusive ethos and we want everyone to feel connected with the sport and Rugby’s ongoing success story.

World Rugby clearly aligns our name with our mission and allows us to organise new and existing consumer facing properties in a way that they will be more impactful and more appealing to the sport’s growing global fan base.

IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy lines up venues

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Estadio Germán Becker will be the main venue, hosting six matches including the final, for the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2013, which will take place in Temuco, Chile, 28 May to 9 June. Originally built in 1965 and re-inaugurated in 2008 after a major refurbishment, its modern facilities can now accommodate 18,125 spectators.

The International Rugby Board has confirmed all four venues that will host matches. The Estadio Municipal Freire, located in the outskirts of Temuco, and the Universidad de la Frontera, within walking distance of Estadio Germán Becker, will each host four matches. The two remaining matches will be played at the Estadio Municipal Pitrufquén on the outskirts of the city. IRB Tournament Director Santiago Ramallo said:

The goal of using four stadiums is to promote the Araucania region with player welfare in mind. We’ve secured venues with excellent playing surfaces and being able to play six matches in the Estadio Germán Becker makes it the best venue in the Junior World Rugby Trophy’s history.

Kick-off times have been selected to allow rugby fans to move between venues and watch up to four matches in each round, with the exception of the penultimate round of pool matches on 5 June.