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John O'NeillAustralian John O’Neill has quit as director of the 2015 Rugby World Cup citing personal reasons, the International Rugby Board (IRB) said on Tuesday.

O’Neill, a former chief of the Australian Rugby Union as well as the Football Federation Australia, confirmed his departure was effective immediately.

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He held the role since March 2012 and IRB chairperson¬† Bernard Lapasset said in a statement he “reluctantly accepted” the resignation.

“The board would like to thank John for his exceptional contribution and his tireless dedication to strengthening the Rugby World Cup brand, profile and profitability for the benefit of the global game,” he said, without going into the reason for the Australian quitting.

O’Neill wished the organisation success for next year’s showpiece in England and the 2019 World Cup in Japan, with the IRB’s executive committee meeting in March set to discuss a new appointment.

O’Neill’s resignation came on the same day Michael O’Connor quit as coach of Australia’s Rugby Sevens team, citing family reasons.

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