Former Otley and Wakefield RFC scrum-half Nigel Melville is to join the Rugby Football Union this summer as director of professional rugby.
The RFU said that former England No 9 Melville will take over the remits of fellow Yorkshireman Rob Andrew, whose departure as professional rugby director was also announced yesterday afternoon, and head of player development Joe Lydon.
Melville, whose previous jobs included rugby director roles at Aviva Premiership clubs Gloucester and Wasps, is currently chief executive of USA Rugby.
The RFU said that 55-year-old, Leeds-born Melville would be responsible for professional rugby in England for the RFU, with particular focus around managing relationships with Premiership Rugby, the English qualified player scheme, the EPS (elite player squad) agreement and the academy system.
He will also lead on the player development pathway for men and women and the sevens programmes.
Melville said: “I would like to thank USA Rugby for their support, and I am very proud of what has been achieved in the organisation and the game in the US over the last decade.
“I feel I am leaving USA Rugby in a very strong place to continue the growth it has experienced in recent years and keep improving internationally.
“However, I am now hugely excited about this opportunity to join England Rugby.”