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Top Singapore Sports Hub exec, Rob Abernethy, handed key Rugby World Cup 2019 role

World Rugby has appointed Rob Abernethy as General Manager for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

The Australian, who has experience working at the Sydney 2000 and London 2012 Olympic Games, along with a host of other major events, will be based full-time in Tokyo. His job will see him oversee day-to-day management of the tournament organisers, ahead of the competition in three years’ time.

Abernethy will be responsible for supporting and assisting the host union, the Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) and the Rugby World Cup 2019 Organising Committee as they strive to “deliver a memorable event in accordance with World Rugby’s requirements and all contractual obligations and agreed standards”.

Abernethy, a former swimmer who won bronze in the 50m Freestyle at the 1993 FINA short-course World Championships in Majorca, Spain, stated:

I’m delighted to be joining the team that will deliver Asia’s first Rugby World Cup.

There are exciting times ahead and I look forward to working collaboratively with the JRFU, Japan Rugby 2019 and all key stakeholders to assist in the delivery of a world-class tournament that will thrill and excite spectators and leave a lasting legacy for rugby in Japan.

Abernathy has worked in Asia for a number of years and is currently based in Singapore, where he is Deputy Managing Director of the Singapore Sports Hub.

Singapore Sports Hub. Courtesy: Arup

Singapore Sports Hub. Courtesy: Arup

He has also worked at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia.

Tournament Director, Alan Gilpin, commented:

Rugby World Cup 2019 promises to be a game-changing event for rugby.

It is the first time the tournament is being held in Asia and it presents an enormous opportunity for us to grow the game beyond its traditional heartlands.

This role requires a proven ability to manage relationships with a wide range of people in a fast-paced and often challenging environment.

Through the recruitment process, Rob showed himself to be an outstanding candidate with a proven track record of delivering world-class events against a demanding set of targets and objectives.

The Rugby World Cup in Japan is scheduled to run between September 20 and November 2, 2019.


Image of Rob Abernethy courtesy of LinkedIn.

Story reproduced from Australian Leisure Management magazine website. See more at:
Mr. Akira Shimazu, President & CEO – Rugby World Cup 2019 Organising Committee

Mr. Akira Shimazu, President & CEO – Rugby World Cup 2019 Organising Committee

Mr. Akira Shimazu, President & CEO of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Organising Committee, is one of the 70+ speakers that will be sharing their invaluable insights during our Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2016 conference and exhibition, which is being held at the Yokohama Arena in Japan from September 26 to 28. Secure your place at this unmissable event online at: