International Rugby Board
The International Rugby Board (IRB) was founded in 1886. With its headquarters in Dublin, the IRB is the world governing and Law making body for the Game of Rugby Union. The IRB has several main functions including:
- Governance of the Laws and Regulations and their enforcement
- Tournament owners and managers
- Global game development through Member Unions funding via grants and Strategic Investment programmes, and delivery of Education & Development programmes
- Game promotion
The IRB Charter provides a checklist of how the Game should be played and approached, in order to maintain the unique social and emotional principles that underpin it.
Download the IRB Charter (PDF) by clicking on one of the links below:
IRB Charter (EN)
IRB Charter (ES)
IRB Charter (FR)
IRB Charter (IT)
IRB Charter (JP)
IRB Charter (RU)
IRB Charter (ZH)
The day to day business of the Board is conducted by a professional staff of over 50, the majority of whom are based in Dublin. Personnel employed around the world includes Regional Development Managers, High Performance Managers and Regional General Managers working in Europe, Asia, Africa, The Americas and Oceania.
Rugby is played by men and women, boys and girls, in more than 100 countries across five continents. The IRB membership currently totals 97 Unions in full membership, 20 Associate Members and six Regional Associations.
The IRB Council, under the Chairmanship of Bernard Lapasset, meets twice a year. It consists of the eight foundations Unions each with two seats - Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and France. Argentina, Canada, Italy and Japan each have one seat on the Council as do all the Regional Associations.
An Executive Committee meets on a regular basis in order to formulate and oversee the implementation of the IRB Strategic Plan, monitor performance and implement good corporate governance principles and practices.
The full membership meets at a General Meeting convened every two years. Regional meetings are held at regular intervals.
There are a number of tournaments under IRB control, including the Women's Rugby World Cup, Rugby World Cup Sevens, HSBC Sevens World Series, IRB Junior World Championship, IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy and IRB Nations Cup. The principal IRB property is, however, Rugby World Cup.
Rugby World Cup
Rugby World Cup (RWC) is the financial engine which drives the development of the game world-wide. The revenues from RWC provide the IRB with the funds which are distributed to the Member Unions to aid and assist them in the expansion and development of the game.
Rugby World Cup Limited, under the control and direction of the IRB, is the owner of all rights associated with the Tournament.
The inaugural Rugby World Cup was held in New Zealand and Australia in 1987. The first winners of the Webb Ellis Cup were New Zealand. In 1991 Australia were the winners at Twickenham; South Africa, as hosts, were the winners in 1995; in 1999 Australia won the Cup for a second time at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
2003 saw the first northern hemisphere winners - England - in Sydney, but the trophy returned south in 2007 when South Africa became the second team to win two Rugby World Cups with their victory in the Stade de France, Paris. RWC 2007 attracted 2.2 million ticket sales, 1.8 million website hits and record television viewing figures through broadcast exposure via 238 channels around the world. The cumulative TV audience was estimated as 4.2 billion.
From the quarter-final stage onwards the matches were completely sold out and the qualifying pool stages set a new record for average crowd attendance at 48,500.
RWC has now become established as one of the most important sporting events behind the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup.
Fiji's Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama government has approved a five-year, US$8.4 million grant for the Fiji Sports Council (FSC) to redevelop the country's national stadium in Suva.
South African broadcast giant SuperSport has been appointed the host broadcaster of the IRB Junior World Championship, which takes place this year in South Africa from 4th June.
The Warrington Wolves rugby league team have announced that Emirates Airlines will title sponsor their 2012 pre-season tour to Australia.
England and Leicester Tigers rugby player Manu Tuilagi will wear Opro mouthguards for the next four years.
Heineken has renewed its sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup to cover the 2015 edition of the tournament.
The role of synthetic turf in both professional and community rugby will be highlighted during workshops presented by the European Synthetic Turf Organisation in conjunction with the International Rugby Board and Rugby Football Union during Rugby Expo 2011 at Twickenham on November 23 and 24.
New Zealand broadcaster MediaWorks have won radio rights to the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Microsoft New Zealand has revealed that it will be an official sponsor of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, to be held in the country in September.
New Zealand's largest national radio network will produce and broadcast all 48 matches from Rugby World Cup 2011 after signing a deal with Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL).
Emirates has been announced as the official airline of the Rugby Football League (RFL), Super League and England's national rugby league team.
European financial services company Société Générale has confirmed its position as a worldwide partner of the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups.
The International Rugby Board (IRB) has confirmed its support for Rugby Expo 2010, providing a series of key speakers at the only global conference and exhibition for rugby, which takes place at the RHS Lawrence Hall, London, on November 9 and 10.
The International Rugby Board (IRB), the governing body for the sport of rugby union, has announced the first ever title sponsor of its Sevens World Series.
The International Rugby Board (IRB), the world governing and law-making body for the sport of rugby union, has granted the exclusive commercial representative rights for the 2015 and 2019 Rugby World Cups (RWC) to IMG
The International Rugby Board is “extremely confident” that New Zealand will be ready to host the 2011 Rugby World Cup, as rugby union’s governing body marked two years until the tournament is due to begin.
Asia will host its first Rugby World Cup in 2019 after the International Rugby Board Council voted in favour of Japan, during a meeting this afternoon at IRB headquarters in Dublin. England will host the 2015 event - the second time the country has hosted the competition.
Toshiba will be title sponsor of the rugby union Junior World Championship in June after agreeing a deal with the IRB.
Sky Television New Zealand will be the host broadcaster for the next Rugby World Cup, to be held in the country in 2011, after agreeing a deal with organisers Rugby World Cup Limited.
MasterCard has joined airline Emirates as a Worldwide Partner of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, to be held in New Zealand. The company, which also sponsors New Zealand's national team, the All Blacks, will pay around US$30 million. The 2007 tournament drew total crowds of nearly two million, with a cumulative television audience of more than four billion.
The IRB has confirmed the pool draw for round 5 of the HSBC Sevens World Series, the USA Sevens in Las Vegas, USA on 10-12 February 2012.
Alain Rolland has been forced to withdraw from his appointment as Assistant Referee for the RBS 6 Nations match between Italy and England in Rome on February 11 due to a calf muscle strain.
The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union today announced the 24 international teams set to take part in the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012, round seven of the HSBC Sevens World Series.