Oceania Rugby Welcomes David Gibson as new Regional Partnerships Manager.

Mon, May 20, 2024, 10:00 PM
by Oceania Rugby

World Rugby and Oceania Rugby can confirm the appointment of David Gibson as the new World Rugby Regional Partnership Manager for Oceania. With an impressive track record, and a passion for rugby’s advancement in the region, Gibson brings a winning blend of experience and expertise to his new role, which will commence in June. 

Gibson joins World Rugby following an illustrious rugby career on and off the field. Having represented the Auckland Blues, Highlanders, and Northland, he won a Super Rugby title with the Blues in 2003 and also represented his native New Zealand at U19 and U20 levels as well as the Māori All Blacks.

After hanging-up his boots in 2008, Gibson channelled his passion for broadening the player voice and opportunities beyond rugby as the General Manager of the New Zealand Players Association. Joining with a strong business and management background, Gibson was appointed Chief Executive role for North Harbour Rugby, before moving into his most recent post with New Zealand Rugby as GM All Blacks Experience, Ngāi Tahu Holdings.

With a proven track record in negotiation and leadership within the rugby community, Gibson’s appointment as Oceania’s World Rugby Regional Partnership Manager heralds a new era of strategic partnerships and collaborations within the region. His blend of rugby expertise, management acumen, and cultural understanding make him an asset to the organization as they strive to enhance rugby development and engagement across Oceania.

Gibson shared his enthusiasm for this new chapter, stating: “I am very excited about the opportunity to work with Oceania Rugby in advancing the sport on and off the field for the region and its members. Oceania is recognised globally as a leader in developing rugby talent and World Rugby acknowledges the contribution of the region to the game’s success. However, there are always challenges and opportunities, so there is much to do, and I am keen to connect with our members and my colleagues at Oceania Rugby to begin this work”.

Reflecting on his journey from player to administrator, Gibson added: “I had the privilege to play professional Rugby, which included representing NZ at age group level and the Māori All Blacks.  This journey provided me with many amazing experiences and lifelong friends.  These experiences and partnerships have helped me into various rugby roles from volunteering to professional, covering community, development, performance, commercial and executive leadership.  For the past three and half years, I have been in the private and tourism sector.  However, my passion has guided me to a role that I am honoured to be selected for.  'Ehara taku toa he toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini’, 'Success is not achieved alone, but rather it is achieved collectively.”

Oceania Rugby and World Rugby are excited about the journey ahead as Gibson steps into his new role. Oceania Rugby President, Mr. Richard Sapias said: “David’s experience in the sport of rugby is diverse and will certainly hold him in good stead working with Oceania Rugby and our Member Unions. His credentials provide a great balance to our current leadership, and we certainly share his excitement in what we believe will be a very strong and fruitful partnership with Oceania Rugby. David’s appointment is yet another critical piece in positioning the region for future success. On behalf of our Executive Board, I welcome David to the Oceania family”. 

World Rugby, Chief of International Federation, Mr. David Carrigy.

“We are delighted to be welcoming David to the World Rugby team as the new Regional Partnership Manager for Oceania. At a time of great global and societal change, it is important that we are able to recognise and harness trends to help advance rugby around the world. David’s deep experience working within the New Zealand players’ association, as a former CEO of North Harbour Rugby and of course as a player, means he has a deep understanding of a wide range of stakeholders. We look forward to seeing him channel that experience and his clear passion for rugby in Oceania into building strong partnerships across the region. Partnerships that will advance the sport across all member unions.”

Mr. David Gibson will commence his new role with World Rugby and Oceania Rugby from June 2024.