Nigel is running one of the UK’s biggest sporting events in 2013. The Rugby League World Cup!
Nigel joined the RFL in 2001 when he authored the RFL Strategic Review. The Review made over 120 recommendations, the most fundamental of which instigated the RFL Governance Structure, the creation of the Independent Board of Directors and the re-unification of Super League (Europe) Ltd into the RFL.
In 2002 Nigel was appointed Finance Director and led the RFL’s financial recovery from the losses of 2001 and the incorporation process which was concluded in 2003, where upon he was appointed chief Operating Officer.
Nigel became Chief Executive in November 2007 and takes responsibility for day-to-day running of the RFL. Nigel is also a director of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a position he has held since the creation of the company in 1996.
Over the past three years, under Nigel’s stewardship, the RFL has seen consecutive years of increased turnover from £13.4 million in 2007 to £21.9million in 2009.
Nigel has been a strong advocate for innovation in the sport including the introduction of the eight-team play-off system, competed for by Super League clubs, and the six-team play-off system for the Championships.
From an international standpoint, Nigel instigated the Tri Nations tournament, featuring the best nations in the sport in 2004, which was expanded to the Four Nations in 2009 and was also the trailblazer to create the International Origin match between England and the Exiles, which took place in 2011.
Prior to working for the RFL, Nigel was Chief Executive of Super League Club Halifax Blue Sox and Deputy Head of Finance for BBC North. He also graduated from the University of Bradford in 1996 with an MBA in Business Administration.
Nigel played Rugby League for Bradford Northern and Halifax RLFC at junior levels and Huddersfield at reserve grade together with a number of seasons playing Amateur Rugby League in the Pennine League for whom he was also the Public Relations officer.
“It gives me great pleasure to be part of the forthcoming Yorkshire Mafia Conference. It presents a terrific opportunity to showcase the Rugby League World Cup, which England and Wales will host in 2013. Yorkshire, which will host five venues throughout the tournament, will play a major part in delivering the best tournament ever staged across the sport. The tournament forms part of the ‘Golden Decade of Sport’ and is the first major event after London 2012. Our aim is to deliver an event that will leave a lasting legacy for the sport in the UK and internationally as well as for the communities that will host the tournament. I’m looking forward to sharing our vision how Yorkshire will benefit in being firmly part of the Rugby League World Cup 2013.”
Nigel Wood, CEO, The Rugby Football League