Millar appointed IRB vice chairman
September 16, 2002

The International Rugby Board have appointed Dr. Syd Millar as Vice-Chairman of the Board and of Rugby World Cup Ltd.

His appointment, which has been made by the IRB Executive Committee, will be subject to ratification by the IRB Council when it meets in November.

Dr. Millar, who has represented the Irish Rugby Football Union on the IRB Council since 1992, added, "I am grateful for the support I have received from the Executive Committee and from other Council members. I am also grateful to Rob Fisher for having enabled my appointment. This is an important time for the administration of world rugby, and I will do everything in my power to ensure that its affairs are kept in good order."

In order to remove uncertainty, and in the interests of continuity and good management, Mr. Rob Fisher, who has been Vice Chairman of the IRB and a Director of Rugby World Cup since 1996, has elected to stand down.

Mr. Fisher who has been a representative of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union on the IRB Council for the last eight years, said, "I am pleased that Dr. Millar has made himself available in order to perform this important role, and I am reassured that this arrangement will enable the work of the Board to proceed as smoothly as possible. It has been a great honour to have served both the IRB and Rugby World Cup Ltd., and my best wishes are extended to all those who will now take both organisations forward.

Fisher's decision to step down ends a turbulent few months for the current NZRFU chairman.

He originally became chairman of the New Zealdn Rugby Football Union in 1997 but resigned in the wake of New Zealand`s failure to win the 1999 World Cup.

In May he resigned from the 2003 Rugby World Cup committee when it was confirmed New Zealand had been dropped as a sub host and that Australia would be hosting the event on its own.

Then in the wake of the Eichelbaum report into how New Zealand lost its co-host status he stepped into the NZRFU chairman's role following the resignation of Murray McCaw and chief executive David Rutherford.

Then, Fisher, along with the rest of the NZRFU board tendered their resignations to allow a new board to be elected. At that time Fisher declared he would not stand again.

That new board should be in place by September 18.

Syd Millar, M.B.E., D.Sc., (1992) is a retired company director from Ballymena. He played as a prop for Ballymena and Ulster, was capped 37 times for Ireland 1958-70 and made three tours (1959, '62 and '68) with the British and Irish Lions. He later undertook further Lions' tours ('74 and '8O) as coach and then manager. He managed Ireland at the 1987 Rugby World Cup and is a member of the IRFU Committee and the 6 Nations Committee.

Rob Fisher (1994), a barrister and solicitor from Auckland, was Auckland RFU Chairman from 1990-1995 and is a life member of Auckland University Club having played prop and hooker for 35 years. He was Chairman of the New Zealand RFU from 1997 to 2000 and appointed Chairman again in July 2002. In 1996 he became the first elected Vice-Chairman of the IRB Council. Rob was a Director of Rugby World Cup from 1996 to 2002.

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