At a packed-out lunch on Saturday, we were delighted to welcome special guest Bill Sweeney, Chief Executive Officer of the Rugby Football Union who spoke candidly about his role and the RFU and carried out a Q&A session.
After stating that he had had an absolutely wonderful day, with great people, terrific hospitality and good rugby (noting that he was sure we were disappointed at the outcome), he commented: “It is days like that that re-energise me and inspire me to give my best for English Rugby.”
Bill Sweeney’s achievements in blue chip business and elite sport saw him appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Rugby Football Union in May 2019, after serving nearly six years as Chief Executive Officer at the British Olympic Association.
A record-breaking London 2012 Olympic Games preceded Team GB becoming the first nation to win more medals in the following Rio 2016 Olympic Games, when they came second in the medal table. During Sweeney’s tenure, Team GB also delivered best-ever performances at two consecutive Winter Olympic Games.
He left a very strong British Olympic Association, both financially and in readiness for Tokyo 2020.
His earlier business career included senior roles at adidas and Puma, and corporate management with Shell, Mars and Unilever.
Although a lifelong rugby supporter, he was initially a schoolboy footballer at Chelsea FC and then English Universities captain.
He switched to rugby first with Aberdeenshire RFC and then Abu Dhabi, Rosslyn Park FC and Weybridge Vandals RFC. He now has strong connections at Richmond FC.