England 'on track' for 2015
Tokyo - England are "totally on track" to deliver a successful 2015 rugby World Cup despite criticism preparations were lagging, the International Rugby Board (IRB) said on Friday.
A senior IRB official backed England's decision to appoint the director of sport for the London Olympics, Debbie Jevans, as a replacement for chief executive Paul Vaughan.
"It's a totally logical transition," the IRB's new chief executive Brett Gosper told Reuters during a visit to Tokyo to meet Japan's 2019 World Cup organisers.
"It's a positive one. It's not to address any issue or problem. There has been a change that will allow them to step up a gear just simply because of what's been learnt by (Jevans) during her time as sports director for LOCOG."
Vaughan, who had been in charge since early last year, stepped down by "mutual consent", according to a statement from organisers England Rugby 2015 released on Wednesday.
Jevans, formerly general secretary of the International Tennis Federation, will take up her new role in November, organisers said.
With just three years to go before the tournament, major tasks such as selecting venues, formulating the match schedule and developing the ticketing programme face Jevans.
Japan, who host Asia's first Rugby World Cup in 2019, the year before they hope to stage the Summer Olympics, have already chosen their venues.
But Gosper predicted a slick operation by England in 2015.
"They're totally on track. The preparations are going brilliantly and they will put on a brilliant tournament," he said.
"(The appointment of Jevans) is to actually take advantage of some very strong capability and knowledge that obviously 2015 can borrow from the London Olympics. It's a very positive step."