Twickenham — “I really like to win.” The 2031 Home Rugby World Cup and the English captain holding the trophy hope to be the best achievement of his time in charge of the game, England. There is no doubt about the competitiveness of the newcomers at the top of rugby.
“It’s really exciting to be here and you can imagine what it looks like. I think it’s also focused on us,” said new RFU Chair Tom Ilube, ratified in March. I mentioned it in my first media appearance since then. He added that he believes England should be number one or number two in the world each year, based on resources and player base.
“So we will see what happens, it will be interesting.
“”[The bid process] It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s what we’re really interested in discussing and engaging with the process. “
Ilube is different from the previous incumbents in the role traditionally seen as the definition of “blazer” itself. Like some of them, he grew up playing rugby (flyhalf and wings) in western London, but at the state-owned Tedington School. He was also very keen on ice skating when Richmond still had a skating rink, but when he said he would move to the country where his father was born, he asked if he should pack ice skates.
“Oh, yes,” his father joked. “Ice skating is very popular in Nigeria.”
The young Ilbe misunderstood the joke and nevertheless tried to take them. “When I opened the case, he shook his head as if he were saying,’You’re dull!'”
Far from being dull, Ilube studied physics and then worked at British Airways, the London Stock Exchange, PwC, Goldman Sachs and more. His resume, a serial entrepreneur who also serves on the BBC’s board and is a board member of WPP, the world’s largest advertising company, is impressive. You can imagine that the last question in his interview about working at RFU was “When can I start?”
He was also the first black man to be elected chairman of the National Sports Governing Body, “I’m really happy that rugby was the first sport,” but rugby has an image of diversity. I am aware that there is a problem. ..
“In games, it’s not as perceived by some,” says Ilube.
“When I was at Tabard RFC the other day, it wasn’t gorgeous, it was just people. When I was in Wimbledon, it was Wimbledon people, but they just live in Wimbledon.
“I went all over the country [my son] With Matthew, London Irish and Sunberry, it’s not that gorgeous. “
Ilube has extensive experience in rugby at the grassroots level. He played in London Welsh until the age of 13, and his son Matthew attended the school of St. Benedict, famous for rugby, and played at the Academy of Bees and London Irish.
He also spent the first month on post-speech with as many people as possible in the game to build the big picture of the English rugby form, with many black professionals and diversity and racism. We talked about the issue.
“They say they enjoy and love the game themselves. They had problems here and there and dealt with them, but in contrast to the sport people are talking about. Rugby could be doing a lot more, “Oh, that’s terrible,” and that was also my experience, “Ilbe added.
Making rugby a more welcoming game for people of all backgrounds in terms of race, nationality and socio-economic background is his inclusion in trying to figure out what rugby will look like in 2030. It is at the top of Ilbe’s priorities in the planning of the economy. Otherwise, he wants to build a “winning system” that relies heavily on data to signal all decisions, from attendance composition to player welfare and conversation. thinking about.
“I think the game can be much bigger than it is now,” says Ilube.
“I think it will be two to three times as large as it is now.
“”[Data] Very important in bringing more people to rugby, the diversity we talked about also helped bring more people to rugby and more people to join the game I think it helps to get more players to participate in the game at all levels, as well as gaining a larger audience.
“And a more detailed understanding of the viewer puts us in a better position to negotiate the right deal with the broadcaster.”