Former Rugby Union boss rejects Rugby League body

The Rugby League International Federation suffered a blow last week when the former chief executive of the International Rugby Board, Mike Miller, rejected the RLIF’s offer of the chief executive’s role with the body that is responsible for Rugby League worldwide.

League Express understands that Miller, who is currently the chief executive of the World Olympians Association, a post he has held since April 2013, had been thought ready to accept the job offer, but stunned the RLIF by turning it down.

It is a blow to RLIF Chairman Nigel Wood, who is currently in Australia for the Four Nations.

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League Express understands that Wood had persuaded his Australian colleagues on the RLIF executive that Miller would be the right man for the job.

Miller stepped down from his post as the chief executive of the International Rugby Board in January 2012 after ten years in charge of that organisation. He also quit as the Rugby World Cup’s managing director.

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During his IRB and World Cup tenures, Miller oversaw three World Cups, masterminded the inclusion of rugby union into the Olympics, expanded the role of the World Sevens series and created the IRB’s strategic investment programme.

The Rugby League International Federation, which was handed a £3.5 million profit from last year’s World Cup, has spent several months looking for its first chief executive, employing specialist head-hunters for the role, and the process is now likely to have to start again.