• Countdown to ConfEx reaches one month to go
  • Gus Pichot, Patrick Baumann, Octavian Morariu, Mark Egan and Rachael Burford on panel
  • Panel will be moderated by BBC World broadcaster David Eades

With just one month to go to the IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition 2014 (ConfEx) the IRB has announced speakers for the “Olympic Rugby Sevens – Faster, Higher, Stronger” panel session.

Bringing together experts from the Olympic world and the wider sporting landscape, the panel will discuss how Rugby can make a success of Rio 2016 and become a must-attend event at the Olympic Games.

Patrick Baumann, Secretary-General of the Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur (FIBA) will join the panel to provide insight and advice on what it takes to be a successful Olympic sport and how Rugby can make the most of the debut of Sevens at Rio 2016.

Baumann will be joined by Octavian Morariu, President of Rugby Europe, who has extensive experience spanning both Olympic and Rugby sports administration. As a serving member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the IRB Council, Morariu will provide a unique perspective on how Rugby can strike gold at Rio 2016.

Others on the panel include former Argentina international Gus Pichot, who also now serves on the IRB Council, the IRB’s Head of Competitions and Performance, Mark Egan, and Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014-winning centre Rachael Burford for England.

The panel will be moderated by BBC World journalist and broadcaster David Eades.

IRB Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: “Rio 2016 is less than two years away and we must make sure that we make the most of the fantastic opportunity we have to showcase Rugby Sevens to the world. The ‘Olympic Rugby Sevens – Faster, Higher, Stronger’ panel is the perfect platform to debate the challenges and opportunities as the momentum builds towards this vital moment for our sport.

“With one month to go to the IRB ConfEx we are delighted with the growing list of high-calibre speakers and partners. It’s going to be a fascinating conference that offers valuable insights into the issues that really matter to the Rugby family and the wider sporting community.”

Taking place on November 17-18 at the Hilton London Metropole, ConfEx will offer a dynamic platform to discuss, learn and create partnerships that will project Rugby’s values worldwide. Supporting the IRB’s mission to reach out to new markets around the globe, the vision of ConfEx is to empower the Rugby community and help it achieve ever-increasing heights of Rugby participation and excellence.

High-profile speakers already announced include:

  • Craig Reedie – IOC Vice-President and World Anti-Doping Agency President
  • Clive Woodward – former international player, Rugby World Cup-winning coach and former British and Irish Lions coach
  • Heather Rabbatts – Football Association Director and Chair of the Inclusion Advisory Board
  • Ronnie Flanagan – Chairman of the International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit
  • Debbie Jevans – CEO of England Rugby 2015
  • Dr Martin Raftery – IRB Chief Medical Officer

For further information about ConfEx, please go to: www.irb.com/confex. You can also join the conversation @IRBConfEx and #IRBConfEx.