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WEEK 4: Katie Sadleir

In another early morning special, we are thrilled to welcome live from Dublin: Katie Sadleir, General Manager for Women’s Rugby, World Rugby

07.30 – 08.15am NZT, Friday 1 May 2020

World Rugby has accelerated development of the women’s game in recent years, with the ambition: “By 2025, rugby will be a global leader in sport, where women involved in rugby have equity on and off the field, are reflected in all strategy, plans and structures, making highly valued contributions to participation, performance, leadership and investment in the global game of rugby.” Katie Sadleir has driven this strategy globally since her appointment in late 2016, with the 2021 Rugby World Cup (women’s edition) taking place in Aotearoa New Zealand set to be a major strategic milestone. It was therefore interesting to see Katie, alongside senior leaders from FIFA and the International Cricket Council (ICC), recently sound the alarm regarding women’s sport in the wake of COVID-19. Katie will join us live from Dublin, to talk about the changing landscape around the women’s game and her plans to ensure COVID-19 does not slow growth.

Katie Sadleir was appointed World Rugby General Manager for Women’s Rugby in November 2016 and moved from New Zealand to Ireland to take up the role in 2017. Prior to joining World Rugby, Katie accrued a wealth of experience as both an athlete and a senior leader working in sports and sports governance in New Zealand. Born in Scotland, raised in Canada, Katie made New Zealand her home, representing her adopted country at the 1984 Olympic Games in synchronised swimming, before going on to win a bronze medal at the 1986 Commonwealth Games. Following her retirement from international sport, Katie led the establishment of the New Zealand Academy of Sport network in the late 1990s. She then went on to serve as General Manager of Sport and Recreation New Zealand (now Sport New Zealand), from 2000-2006, acting as a leading proponent in the transformation of New Zealand’s High-Performance system.


(please note about a 20sec delay until we speak, waiting for the audience to dial-in)

Read some of the media coverage post-interview:

Golden year awaits women’s rugby in 2021‘, LockerRoom.

2021 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand won’t be shifted‘, Radio New Zealand.


This week’s moderator: journalist and commentator, Rikki Swannell!

After a fantastic effort moderating week one to three of this new series, we were thrilled to welcome Rikki back again for week four!

Rikki has been a sports broadcaster for 15 years, and now works in a freelance capacity as a commentator and reporter. She can largely be heard on Sky Sport, where she is a regular commentator on netball, rugby and tennis, and on the World 7s series, working for World Rugby. She started her career as a journalist at Radio Sport and Newstalk ZB and has covered everything from snooker and darts, to cricket and rowing, Olympic and Commonwealth Games and various World Cups. Since going it alone in 2016, Rikki has diversified to become an accomplished event MC, long form print and online writer, media advisor and trainer and web copy-writer. She has a keen interest in the business of sport, governance and media issues. Rikki has kindly provided her services free, to help this series.

Those interested in working with Rikki should contact her on We highly recommend her!

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