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Experienced major events professional Andrea Nelson has been appointed as General Manager New Zealand Operations for the Rugby League World Cup 2017 (RLWC2017).

Ms Nelson joins the RLWC2017 local organising committee having previously held the role of Marketing and Communications Director for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, delivering promotions and fan activations across New Zealand.

“This is an exciting opportunity for me to work on another major global event and help showcase all that New Zealand has to offer,” Ms Nelson said.

“There is no doubt New Zealand is now one of the world’s most recognised countries when it comes to hosting major international events, and we are known for the warm welcome and unique Kiwi flavour we deliver.

“New Zealand has a proud rugby league history and a strong grassroots support base. And we can’t forget that the Kiwis are currently ranked #1 in the world.

“I look forward to working with New Zealand Rugby League, governments and our Australian partners to deliver a great World Cup that New Zealand can really get behind.”

Prior to working on the FIFA Under-20s, Ms Nelson led the Brand and Marketing Communications team at Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) which included working on projects like the inaugural NRL Auckland Nines and ‘The Show Never Stops’ domestic marketing campaign.

Ms Nelson also spent eight years working in a senior management role at the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games bid and organising committee.

RLWC2017 Chief Executive Officer, Michael Brown, said the appointment was critical to driving a world-class tournament in New Zealand.

“Andrea brings a great deal of major event experience and world class learnings from some of the world’s biggest sporting events to the organising committee,” Mr Brown said.

“We want to deliver a rugby league world cup like no other before it and that means having the best talent involved in planning and delivery. We are fortunate to have Andrea’s experience in major events and destination marketing in our team to help drive local involvement and interest in the tournament.”

The RLWC2017 will be played in New Zealand, Australia and Papua New Guinea over five weeks starting in October 2017 with 14 teams competing for rugby league’s ultimate international prize.