A new chair for Premiership rugby – Martyn Phillips

A new chair for Premiership rugby – Martyn Phillips

Premiership rugby has announced that it has appointed a new chair.

Martyn Phillips will take over from the previous incumbent, Andy Higginson.

Meet Martyn Phillips

Phillips has had a long career in the rugby world.

He previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of Welsh Rugby Union until 2020.

His private sector experience outside of the rugby world includes previous service as Chief Executive Officer of B&Q UK and Ireland.

In a statement, Phillips said that he had identified a “significant opportunity” for the institution.

“There is a significant opportunity for Premiership Rugby to continue to develop the tournament and its commercial rights to their full potential”

Martyn Phillips, Premiership Rugby Chair

He added that there was a chance for collaboration with the Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby – as well as other key stakeholders.

His previous career at Welsh Rugby Union came to an end in 2020 after five years in the position.

His period in office at that organisation was seen as a success. During his time in office Wales was able to secure a place in the World Cup semi-final.

The side was also able to enjoy hitherto unseen levels of turnover.

“I have learnt a huge amount and hope that I will be able to stay involved in rugby in some capacity,” he said at the time.

Impact on the game

The new appointment is likely to allow Phillips to bring his extensive commercial experience to the league, which is currently undergoing a period of change as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

It comes against the backdrop of the Premiership’s ‘Covid Recovery Plan’, which will attempt to give predictability and stability to a number of senior Premier League clubs.

This plan has been met with some controversy and has been perceived by some to be favouring clubs that are currently in Premiership rugby.

The RFU, however, has taken steps to combat this and to reduce the risk that it will be perceived as ‘protecting’ the upper division.

Elsewhere, Phillips is expected to build on Higginson’s successes in the role as the Rugby Premiership 2021 gets properly underway.

These include a boost to the overall management structure of the organisation, including a new focus on its management level.

It includes, for example, the arrival of a fresh Chief Executive for the overall Premiership, Simon Maisie-Taylor.

But Phillips’ exact plans for his time in the job have not yet been specified.

“I am very excited about this new role and look forward to working together with Simon and his team, the clubs, owners and investors over the years ahead,” Phillips noted.

Reaction from bosses

Premiership Rugby said that it was pleased to welcome Phillips into his new position.

It also said that it was keen to thank Higginson for his work during the pandemic.

“Premiership Rugby and its member clubs would like to thank Andy Higginson for his two years of service during this challenging period,” it said.

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