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2015 Rugby World Cup
Cotton and Wheeler to spearhead legacy plans
ESPN Staff
January 4, 2013
Leicester Tigers chief executive Peter Wheeler, Premier Rugby press conference, Twickenham Stoop, England, October 19, 2005
Leicester Tigers' chairman Peter Wheeler is one of the six appointed chairs © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Fran Cotton | Peter Wheeler
Tournaments/Tours: IRB Rugby World Cup
Teams: England

The RFU's participation legacy

  • Better facilities
  • Investing in people
  • More schools
  • Returning players
  • Touch Rugby
  • Other nations
  • Cultural engagement

Former England captains Fran Cotton and Peter Wheeler are among those who have been tasked with ensuring the 2015 Rugby World Cup leaves a lasting legacy.

Cotton, a former British & Irish Lions international who has since carved out a notable career as a businessman and a rugby administrator, and Wheeler, who is currently executive director of Premiership side Leicester Tigers and a member of the Professional Game Board, are among six individuals who will head up the Regional Activation and Legacy Groups formed by the Rugby Football Union with the aim of boosting participation in the sport at all levels.

RFU chairman Bill Beaumont said of the appointments: "Hosting the Rugby World Cup in less than three years gives us an incredible opportunity to grow the game. Our plans to ensure we build an effective legacy are already well underway and today's appointment of six chairs to lead our Regional Activation and Legacy Groups is an important next step. They will all bring a wealth of experience and relevant skills to the role, adding value to the local delivery work of our Constituent Bodies and staff."

Cotton and Wheeler, who will "oversee the development and implementation of a robust activation and legacy plan" in their respective areas, will be joined by Chris Booy, Vic Luck, Roger Clarke and Robin Wannop.

In related news, England Rugby 2015, the organisers of the sport's showpiece event, have again turned to a former Olympics official to fill a key role. Joanna Manning-Cooper has appointed as the organisation's new communications and marketing director having previously acted as head of public relations for the London 2012 Olympics.

Debbie Jevans, chief executive of ER 2015 and herself a former London 2012 executive, said: "We want Rugby World Cup 2015 in England to be the best World Cup ever. With less than 1,000 days to go to the tournament we are strengthening our senior team, and Joanna has been appointed following a competitive recruitment process for this important new role within the ER 2015 leadership team. Joanna did an exceptional job for London 2012 and her skills and experience in major sporting events will be a great asset as we promote Rugby World Cup 2015 to the world."

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