LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) -- Kit McConnell, who has served as head of the Rugby World Cup for 10 years, was appointed as the new sports director of the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday.
McConnell has overseen three Rugby World Cups in Australia, France and New Zealand. He leaves the post two years before the 2015 tournament in England.
Rugby sevens will be part of the Olympic program at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
McConnell, a 40-year-old national from Australia and New Zealand, will begin his new role at the IOC in early 2014.
He succeeds Christophe Dubi, who is taking over from Gilbert Felli as Olympic Games executive director
''Mr. McConnell brings great expertise to the IOC in the area of planning, managing and delivering major sporting events and has strong ties to the international federations,'' the IOC said in a statement.
McConnell served as the IOC's manager of sport operations from 2000-02, working with organizing committees and international federations. Before that, he coordinated sports planning for the organizing committee of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.