STEVE Phillips will become interim chief executive officer of the Welsh Rugby Union when incumbent Martyn Phillips leaves the role in October.

Phillips will assume responsibility for the day to day running of the governing body from September 14, with the transition and hand over period between the two colleagues set to reach its conclusion in advance of the Annual General Meeting scheduled for October 18.

He is the current group finance director and was appointed to the role in 2007. In addition to managing the financial impact of the current pandemic on Welsh rugby, Phillips has recently represented the WRU in discussions with CVC over their investment in the PRO14 competition and overseen The Westgate Hotel project, a joint venture between the union, Celtic Manor Resort and property firm Rightacres.

Gareth Davies, WRU chairman, said: "We have seen a large number of excellent candidates and Steve has impressed throughout the process.

“There is no doubt that the sports industry has been significantly impacted by the current pandemic. Steve has been at the forefront of our management of this challenging period.

"He knows our business inside out and I believe this knowledge, combined with his track record with the Union and long-established strong relationships throughout the world game, ensure he is well placed to navigate the challenges ahead.

"It became clear during the recruitment process that the uncertainty currently surrounding sport was a challenge, both for candidates and the Union. For this reason, I asked Steve if he would consider taking the position on an interim basis. He is entirely familiar with the business and as such will ‘hit the ground running’.

The WRU’s next chief executive spent ten years at TBI, playing active roles in the acquisition of airports in Belfast, Sweden, London Luton, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Australia and North America, before moving on to tackle Welsh rugby’s finances.

He has filed a succession of Annual Reports charting a significant rise in the turnover of the WRU, which reached £90.5 million in the accounts for the year ending 2019 and overseen the reduction of the company’s debt from in excess of £50m when he took over to an all-time low of £6.2m.