Nigel Wood was previously chief executive of the Rugby Football League

Nigel Wood is to step down as International Rugby League chief executive at the end of 2020 as he retires after 18 years on the board.

His departure comes less than three years after he left the Rugby Football League following a decade as CEO.

He will also leave his role on the board for the 2021 World Cup, which is to be staged in England.

“I’m proud of the growth and diversification of international rugby league since 2000,” said Wood.

Next year’s World Cup is poised to be one of the most inclusive and diverse tournaments to be held in the UK, with the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions being staged simultaneously.

In 2013, Wood oversaw the World Cup which had games hosted across the UK.

“International rugby league represents the greatest opportunity rugby league has to move to the next level and I know there are some exciting plans ahead,” Wood added.

“It has been the privilege of my life to serve the cause of international rugby league over the past 18 years.”

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