Former Rugby World Cup Tournament Manager, Nicola Alesbrook explains why she chose to study Sport Science and received her Bachelor of Science degree from St Mary’s College. Her degree knowledge was not entirely required when she took up the role of Marketing and Events at Harlequins Rugby Club after college, but says it was not too big of an adjustment for her.
After five years at Harlequins, Nicola moved to the International Rugby Board (now known as World Rugby) in 2005 and spent the next 11 years there. She speaks about how travelling to the different host nations for each of the Rugby World Cups and the comradery formed with the various organising committees, was the highlight of her time at World Rugby upon leaving in 2016.
Nicola’s role developed over the years she was there and details what her role entailed as Tournament Manager, as well as needing to juggle between the planning of separate Rugby World Cups, which overlapped. Nicola talks about the earthquake that struck Christchurch six months before the 2011 Tournament got underway and how that was the most challenging time of her career, with it proving to be a logistical conundrum to solve.
Nicola admits that she never imagined having a career in Rugby, but her love for organising and sport fitted perfectly with the positions she held at Harlequins and World Rugby. Nicola speaks about the difficulty of saying farewell to her colleagues at World Rugby as she left after the birth of your second child, but plans on returning to work as a consultant in 2018 in various businesses, regardless if they are involved with sport or not.
“Rugby World Cups are becoming more and more complex so there is absolutely the need to start the planning as soon as they have been awarded.” – Nicola Alesbrook (Former Rugby World Cup Tournament Manager)