10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
As rugby prepares to re-join the Olympic programme with Sevens in Nanjing at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games and Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games, the IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition (IRBWRCE) programme will discuss and debate how national member Unions, clubs and the rugby industry can maximise the profile the sport will receive through its inclusion on the biggest stage of all - the Olympic Games.
With the growth of the game coinciding with an explosion in digital media, rugby and the digital environment will also be in the spotlight, with discussion around how digital marketing and effective use of social media can ensure an ever-increasing rugby audience and bring fans and commercial partners closer to the action.
The international growth of rugby will also be highlighted in a conference session designed for countries and cities interested to learn about hosting future IRB events.
It will highlight the IRB event programme and provide insight from those that have been successful in winning bids to host rugby events, as well as those responsible for delivering outstanding rugby events in the future, with a focus on the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Bernard Lapasset, Chairman of the IRB, said: "These are exciting times in rugby with unprecedented growth and interest around the world.
"At the IRB we are committed to working with our member Unions, teams, players, coaches, sponsors and businesses that invest money, time, energy and effort in the global development of the game, to leverage the positive impact from community level to the elite level.
"This exciting conference programme has been designed to benefit our stakeholders so that we may work together to create a bright future for our sport."
Additional conference sessions will focus on key IRB priorities and include: 'Developing a Performance Mentality', 'Player Welfare' and 'Growing Participation'. Further details about each session, as well as confirmed speakers, will be announced in the coming weeks.
The IRBWRCE is a two-day event that includes a conference, exhibition and social programme and will run alongside the IRB General Assembly and the IRB Medical Commission Conference, creating a truly international gathering of stakeholders in rugby.
A discounted delegate rate is in effect for those booking their place before the end of the day (GMT) on Wednesday, July 31 via the website www.irbwrce.com.
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