Experienced international sports administrator Mark Evans will lead the expansion of Global Rapid Rugby into an Asia Pacific home-and-away competition in 2020, complete with a $AU1 million prize pool.
A rugby authority, Mr Evans was Chief Executive of Harlequins FC for 11 years and Director of Rugby at Saracens FC. He has also spent time in Australia previously as Chief Executive of NRL club Melbourne Storm.
Recently he has been working with a number of high-profile sports organisations in the UK, including European Rugby, Rugby League World Cup 2021 and Netball Super League.
In joining Global Rapid Rugby as Chief Executive Officer, Mr Evans said: “I watched this year’s Showcase Series from afar and witnessed the appetite that exists for this shorter, fast-moving and entertaining 15-a-side brand. Next year, as a full home-and-away competition is launched, I am confident Rapid Rugby will continue to go from strength to strength.
“It’s an exciting role to take the great sport of rugby deeper into Asia, to help develop the unique talents of the Pacific and to play an important part in making Australian rugby stronger.”
Global Rapid Rugby Founder Andrew Forrest AO described the appointment as “another positive step forward for Global Rapid Rugby to build on two successful showcase years”.
“Mark will lead the organisation into the next stage of growth as we enter the competition era,” Mr Forrest said. “He has strong credentials for the role and beat a field of international and local candidates to take on this great opportunity.”
Mr Evans has relocated to Global Rapid Rugby’s Perth headquarters, where his first task is to review the format of the 2020 Rapid Rugby season. The competition will be staged throughout the first half of next year and feature the Western Force alongside teams from the Asia and Pacific regions.