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Troubled Rugby Canada taps experienced Scottish league exec as new CEO

Nathan Bombrys joins organization this summer after years of management in the UK
Newly announced Rugby Canada CEO Nathan Bombrys, who takes on the job this summer, has held several executive positions with rugby organizations in the UK. (Courtesy of Rugby Canada)

Rugby Canada has appointed Nathan Bombrys as its new permanent chief executive officer.

Bombrys has worked in similar leadership roles in the UK, as managing director at Scottish club Glasgow Warriors, commercial director at Sale Sharks in England and senior commercial roles at Scottish Rugby.

He will start in the position in the summer after his contract with the Scottish Rugby Union ends.

“I’m proud of the fact that my rugby journey started in North America, and I’ve enjoyed some truly unique experiences through my years in European professional rugby. I look forward to sharing that experience with athletes, staff and other stakeholders, working together to grow the sport in this country at what I believe is a truly exciting time for rugby in Canada,” Bombrys said in a release.

Outgoing interim CEO Jamie Levchuk will move to the position of managing director, revenue and fan engagement.

Bombrys takes over at a point of upheaval within the organization. A report released last month after an independent review of the high-performance programs – both the men’s and women’s teams had posted a string of disappointing results – painted a damning picture.

“The culture of Rugby Canada and the high-performance program is described as ‘empty’ or ‘non-existent,’” the report stated. “In this vacuum of culture and leadership, bad behaviours take hold across all areas of the program. The high-performance program is described as unhealthy or unsafe by many.”

Sally Dennis, chair of the board of directors for Rugby Canada, said Bombrys stood out in a strong candidate pool and brings the “character and experience” the organization needs in its leadership at this time.

“Nathan has a vision and a plan for restoring pride in Canadian rugby and leading us into a new era of growth, community engagement, financial stability and increased international performance success. We are excited and keen for him to get started,” Dennis said.

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ALSO READ: Independent review paints damning, dysfunctional picture of Rugby Canada

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