Play Rugby USA's Mark Griffin joins USA rugby in support of commercial strategy and partnerships

As Commercial Director, Griffin will focus on the integration and alignment of the commercial division within the union while embracing current partners.

• As Commercial Director, Griffin will focus on the integration and alignment of the commercial division within the union while embracing current partners.

• CEO and Founder of Play Rugby USA, Griffin's attention to rugby development key to transitional period in the NGB's commercial landscape.

• Griffin, "I look forward to working with the team at USA Rugby in building partnerships that drive long-term value for our commercial partners, stakeholders   and the union."

LAFAYETTE, CO - USA Rugby announced today the recruitment of Play Rugby USA CEO and Founder, Mark Griffin, to join the organization as Commercial Director. As the NGB navigates through a transitional period at the governance level, USA Rugby is pleased to welcome Griffin as it looks to integrate and align its commercial division within the union, to embrace its current partners and establish the basis for a robust commercial strategy. During his tenancy, Griffin will work hand-in-hand with USA Rugby commercial partners and the national office in Colorado, reporting directly to the USA Rugby CEO. In lockstep with the work of Mark Lambourne, Griffin's appointment is a move forward in bringing RIM under the USA Rugby umbrella.

"I am incredibly excited and grateful to take on this opportunity with USA Rugby," said Griffin, "The role represents a perfect alignment of my commercial, non-profit and sports experience. I am passionate about wanting to see rugby in America realize its potential. A collaborative approach will be core to achieving this and I will do everything I can to work with the team at USA Rugby to build partnerships that drive long-term value for our commercial partners, stakeholders and the union."

More information on Griffin's succession with Play Rugby USA will be detailed in a separate communication to be released by the organization.

A former Men's Eagle, Griffin initially moved to the United States with Barclays Capital in 1999 but soon found himself immersed in the United States rugby community, primarily in the youth spectrum. Having founded Play Rugby USA in 2003 - a renowned non-profit that uses rugby as an educational tool to enrich the social, emotional and physical well-being of thousands of young people in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco - Griffin's understanding for American rugby and its industry potential are welcomed values. This is Griffin's second appointment with USA Rugby; the last being in 2009-2010 during which time Griffin led the Youth & High School Department, driving the endorsement and growth of the State Rugby Organization infrastructure and roll out of Rookie Rugby.

"With Play Rugby USA, Mark has proven he can unite stakeholders and drive strategic initiatives that have lasting, positive impacts to all involved," added Play Rugby USA Chair, Greg Sigrist, "This is an exciting opportunity for Mark to do the same for USA Rugby's Commercial and Partnership Department."

USA Rugby Interim CEO, Ross Young concluded, "As we look to re-integrate and re-focus the commercial activity of the Union, Mark's appointment is a hugely positive move in the right direction. His proven track record with Play Rugby USA and his focus on relationships will certainly be a great help during this transition phase. We are all looking forward to working with him and building out a solid commercial program that delivers for both the union and our strategic partners"