USA Rugby chief takes RFU role
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USA Rugby chief takes RFU role

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Nigel Melville, chief executive of USA rugby, will join the Rugby Football Union (RFU) this summer as its director of professional rugby.

Reporting to chief executive Ian Ritchie, Melville will be responsible for managing the relationship between Premiership Rugby, the English Qualified Player scheme – which keeps tabs on the number of home grown players competing in the competition – and the academy system.

He will also oversee the player development pathway for men and women as well as the sevens programme.

Melville takes over the remits held by former director of professional rugby Rob Andrew and head of international player development Joe Lydon.

Thanking USA Rugby for its support, Melville said he was looking forward to joining the RFU during a “very buoyant time” following the Grand Slam victory by the men’s England team, and in anticipation of rugby sevens rejoining the Olympic roster this summer in Rio.

“I feel I am leaving USA Rugby in a very strong place to continue the growth it has experienced in recent years and keep improving internationally,” he said.

Before taking up his role across the pond, Melville worked as a consultant for Premier League football club Reading FC, although he has significant experience in rugby. He became Wasps’ first director of rugby in 1995 before joining Gloucester Rugby in 2002.

Andrew said that Melville was the “best candidate” to replace him, while Ritchie said that the new executive would bring a “great deal of expertise” to the role.

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Nigel Melville, chief executive of USA Rugby, will join the Rugby Football Union (RFU) this summer as its director of professional rugby.