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RFU searches for new CEO as Ritchie retires

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The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has begun its search for a new chief executive after Ian Ritchie announced that he will retire this summer.

Ritchie, 63, joined the RFU in 2012, and oversaw the governing body when England hosted the World Cup in 2015.

During his tenure, the organisation unveiled its artificial grass pitch initiative, which will see the development of 60 purpose built rugby pitches and 40 part-funded community artificial pitches at the cost of £50m (US$64.9m, €58.1m).

According to the RFU, the body has made a “record investment” in grassroots rugby over the past five years, while participation in rugby has “increased every year” since he was appointed.

The RFU has begun a selection process for his successor, with a view to making an appointment before he steps down.

“Rugby is a special sport, and one which is very hard to leave, but after a 40-year career and seven CEO roles, I will retire at the end of the summer with a lifetime of memories, many of which have rugby at heart,” said Ritchie.

RFU chair Andy Cosslett said Ritchie had been an “outstanding” chief executive.

“He had led the RFU through a period of sustained growth and success, built a terrific management team of executives and coaches, and kept the values of rugby at the heart of his leadership style,” he added.

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The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has begun its search for a new chief executive after Ian Ritchie announced that he will retire this summer.
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Ritchie joined the organisation in 2012 /  Paul Harding/PA Archive/PA Images
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