International Rugby Board
- This article refers to rugby, for coins featuring the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, see Ian Rank-Broadley.
The International Rugby Board (IRB), headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is the world governing and law-making body for the game of Rugby Union (as opposed to Rugby League—see the respective entries for differences between the two). There are currently 95 full members and 8 associate members.
The Executive Council meets twice a year. It consists of the eight Unions each with two seats: Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and France. Four unions have one seat each: Argentina, Canada, Italy and Japan as does FIRA–AER. The full membership meets at a General Meeting which is convened every two years. Regional meetings are held at regular intervals.
Its president is Syd Millar (Ireland), since november 2003.
The IRB controls several tournaments: the Rugby Union World Cup, the Women's Rugby World Cup, Rugby World Cup Sevens, IRB World Sevens Series, Under 21 World Cup, Under 19 World Championship, and the Super Powers Cup.
The IRB have recently released £18.6 million of funding over three years for tier two nations Canada, the USA, Japan, Romania, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga. Argentina will also receive additional support to enable it to retain its tier one status. The money, built up from succesful World Cups, was released following a report commisioned by the IRB highlighting the growing disparity between tier one and tier two nations. (see IRB statement). This is in addition to the £10-12 million it normally gives out grants and tournament costs. The emphasis is on three areas infrastructure, high performance units and cross border competitions.