The top decision makers in world Rugby are gathering in Vancouver this week as the International Rugby Board hosts a series of key meetings in the city.
Within a week of regular meetings that drive and shape a sport that is currently played by 5.5 million men, women and children worldwide, the International Federation will host its Executive Committee and Rugby Committee meetings.
Informal meetings will also take place with Rugby Canada, the Canadian Sports Minister and members of the Canadian National Olympic Committee as Rugby continues to reach out to new participants and audiences across the country.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “We are delighted to be in Vancouver for these important meetings at such an exciting time for Rugby in Canada and across North America.”
“With a place at Rugby World Cup 2015 secured and the opportunity for the top men’s and women’s Rugby Sevens athletes to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, interest and engagement is at an all-time high set against a backdrop of continued participation growth.”
“On behalf of the International Rugby Board, I like to thank Rugby Canada and the City of Vancouver for their hospitality and wish them the very best in continuing to project Rugby and its character-building values to the people of Canada.”
The meetings represent a further endorsement of the importance of Rugby in Canada and North America, where the sport is enjoying unprecedented growth and profile.
"Rugby Canada is proud to be hosting the International Rugby Board Executive Committee and Rugby Committee meetings in Vancouver next week," said Graham Brown, Chief Executive Officer for Rugby Canada.
"As we work towards the upcoming Rugby World Cups in 2014 and 2015, and the Olympics in 2016, having global rugby leaders gather in Vancouver shows the IRB's commitment to the growth and development of rugby in Canada and across North America."
The meetings are happening during the build up to the IRB Americas Rugby Championship, which takes place at the Canadian Rugby Centre of Excellence and Westhills Stadium in Langford, British Columbia, on October 11, 15 and 19 and involves Canada A, USA Select, Uruguay and the Argentina Jaguars.
- Wednesday 30 July 2014 - RWC 2015
Krasnoyarsk, the heartbeat of Russian rugby
- Wednesday 30 July 2014 - Women's RWC 2014
Captains' excitement as WRWC2014 gets closer
- Wednesday 30 July 2014 - HSBC Sevens
Golden Blitzboks turn attention to Series
- Tuesday 29 July 2014 - Women's RWC 2014
Women's Rugby World Cup launched in Paris
- Monday 28 July 2014 - Women's RWC 2014
Sevens stars touch down for Women's World Cup
- 30 July - South Africa's Warren Whiteley on winning Gold in Glasgow
- 30 July - Sean Fitzpatrick on the extraordinary 1995 World Cup
- 29 July - Sean Fitzpatrick on his early obsession with rugby
- 28 July - Hong Kong's Dai Rees and first, Zimbabwe's Liam Middleton on the repechage
- 28 July - Pablo Lemoine on future of rugby in Uruguay
- 25 July - Barbados prepare for Commonwealth Games in Sutton Coldfield
- Listen to this week's Total Rugby show
- 23 July - Development of rugby in Colombia
- 22 July - The Netherlands team profile
- 21 July - In-depth look at rugby in Russia