Rugby Legends Join Line-Up for World Rugby ConfEx 2014

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Rugby Legends Join Line-Up for World Rugby ConfEx 2014

Sean Fitzpatrick, Brian Moore, Agustín Pichot and Thomas Castaignède to discuss the ‘State of the Union’

Panel will kick off a strong two-day agenda looking at major issues and opportunities for the game

ConfEx takes place in London from 17-18 November
IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition 2014 (ConfEx) has announced that high-profile former internationals Sean Fitzpatrick, Brian Moore, Agustín Pichot and Thomas Castaignède will kick off and set the tone for the event by discussing the future of Rugby in a key panel session entitled ‘State of the Union’.

These legends of the game from New Zealand, England, Argentina and France bring an impressive combined wealth of knowledge and experience to the event, which is taking place on 17-18 November at Hilton London Metropole.

Former New Zealand captain Sean Fitzpatrick was a formidable player for the All Blacks, playing 92 tests over the course of his decorated career, including the Rugby World Cup 1987 final which New Zealand won. In 2014, Fitzpatrick was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame.

Brian Moore made his name as a hooker for England, gaining 64 caps for his country between 1987-1995 as well as being selected for two British and Irish Lions tours. Gus Pichot played 71 times for Argentina in a career that spanned 13 years and four Rugby World Cups. He captained Los Pumas to their greatest achievement to date, third place at RWC 2007 in France.

Meanwhile, Thomas Castaignède was a versatile and immensely talented utility back for France, winning 54 international caps from 1995-2007 and appearing for his country at fly-half, centre and full-back.

Since their respective retirements, all four panel members have stayed involved and have been vocal proponents of the game, each with strong views on how Rugby should be played and administered around the world.

In the opening session of ConfEx 2014, these four Rugby greats will explore the opportunities and challenges the sport will face over the next decade as it continues to grow and develop worldwide. This ‘State of the Union’ panel will be moderated by BBC World journalist and broadcaster David Eades.

IRB Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: “The IRB is fortunate to welcome four of the great names in world Rugby to ConfEx 2014. We believe Rugby’s unique values and inclusive ethos can be summarised by one word, character. Sean Fitzpatrick, Brian Moore, Gus Pichot and Thomas Castaignède all possess that quality. Their combined knowledge and insight will prove invaluable to the discussion on the future of Rugby and the development of the game.

“With just over a week to go until ConfEx, we are confident our list of high-calibre speakers will deliver a world-class conference and provide us with an excellent platform from which to debate the issues that really matter. As the sport continues to expand into new markets, it is important that we take stock and draw on the existing experience we have within the wider Rugby family for the benefit of the game going forward.”

ConfEx offers a dynamic platform to discuss, learn and create partnerships that will project Rugby’s values worldwide. Supporting the IRB’s mission to reach out to new markets around the globe, the vision of ConfEx is to empower the Rugby community and help it achieve ever-increasing heights of Rugby participation and excellence.

High-profile speakers confirmed for ConfEx include:

Craig Reedie – International Olympic Committee Vice-President and World Anti-Doping Agency President

Clive Woodward – Rugby World Cup-winning coach and former Lions coach

Octavian Morariu – Rugby Europe President and International Olympic Committee member

Heather Rabbatts – Football Association Director and Chair of the Inclusion Advisory Board

Ronnie Flanagan – Chairman of the International Cricket Council Anti-Corruption and Security Unit

Debbie Jevans – CEO of England Rugby 2015

Dr Martin Raftery – IRB Chief Medical Officer
For further information about ConfEx, please go to: You can also join the conversation @IRBConfEx and #IRBConfEx.

To get a feel for Confex check out the video below.

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