Former England half-back Nigel Melville has been appointed to a major new role in the Premiership Rugby boardroom.
Melville, who was a senior figure at the RFU between 2016 and 2019, will chair the league’s investor board and rugby committee.
His role will focus on rugby matters, while chief executive Darren Childs leads the operation’s commercial side.
He will also join the Professional Game Board, the umbrella group representing the clubs, RFU, and players’ union.
Premiership Rugby has endured a tumultuous 2020, which has seen the Saracens salary cap saga, a standoff with the Rugby Players’ Association over coronavirus pandemic-induced pay cuts, while a new television deal was only recently signed after months of posturing with BT Sport.
Premiership Rugby sources have welcomed former scrum-half Melville’s appointment, citing his experience as a former player and a coach as well as his RFU background.
Newcastle owner Semore Kurdi had previously chaired the investor board and the rugby committee on a part-time basis, but Melville will now lead these areas full-time.
The precarious financial state of the clubs in the midst of the pandemic will be a major priority for Melville, as well as other long-standing issues such as ring-fencing of the league and the global calendar.
Melville starts his role with immediate effect.