Nigel Melville
Birth nameNigel David Melville
Date of birth (1961-01-06) 6 January 1961 (age 61)
Place of birthLeeds, Yorkshire
Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight76 kg (12 st 0 lb; 168 lb)
SpouseSue Melville
ChildrenHelen Melville, James Melville and Tom Melville
Rugby union career
Position(s) Scrum-half
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)

Otley R.U.F.C.
Wakefield RFC
Wasps FC
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1984–1988 England 13 (0)
Teams coached
Years Team

Otley R.U.F.C.
London Wasps
Gloucester Rugby

Nigel David Melville (born 6 January 1961) is a former England national rugby union team scrum half and captain and currently serves as Director of Professional Rugby for Rugby Football Union.

Melville became the youngest player to captain England on his début when he led them against Australia in November 1984. He went on to make another twelve appearances over the next four years.

Playing career

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Melville attended Aireborough Grammar School and North East London polytechnic. He played club rugby for Otley R.U.F.C., Wakefield RFC and Wasps FC.

Melville was captain of the England Schools 19 age group on their tour to New Zealand and Australia in 1979, England B – the youngest captain at the time, England Under 23 on their tour of Romania in 1983.

Melville earned 13 caps for England.[1] He captained the full England side seven times, winning four games. Melville toured with England to Argentina in 1981, North America in 1982 and New Zealand in 1985. Melville was a replacement for the injured Terry Holmes on the British Lions tour to New Zealand in 1983 but picked up a spinal injury in his second game and took no further part on the tour.

Melville's career was blighted by a number of serious injuries including a serious neck injury, shoulder damage, five knee operations and a chipped ankle. These partly restricted the number of matches he played for England.

Coaching and management

During his playing career, Melville was the Head of UK Promotions for Nike working alongside elite athletes from a wide range of sports.

On retirement, Melville entered coaching and as Director of Rugby at London Wasps, Melville coached the team to their first professional Premiership title in 1996, followed by three National Cup Final appearances, winning two. In March 2002 he moved to Gloucester Rugby, winning the Zurich Championship Final (the year before winning the play-offs constituted winning the English title), Powergen Cup and topped the Zurich Premiership table by a record 15 clear points. He left in 2005.[2]

Melville was appointed CEO and President of Rugby Operations for USA Rugby on 11 October 2006. At the time his Roberts' appointment, USA Rugby had 80,000 registered players in the U.S.[3] One of the goals that USA Rugby chairman Kevin Roberts set for Melville in 2006 was for the U.S. national team to reach the 2011 Rugby World Cup quarterfinals.[4] Under Melville's tenure, USA Rugby began its "rookie rugby" program, exposing young people to the sport of rugby. Melville predicted in 2012 that professional rugby would come to the United States by 2015.[5] He stepped down from his position with USA Rugby effective 30 June 2016.[6]

Melville started as Director of Professional Rugby for England's Rugby Football Union in July 2016.[7]


  1. ^ "Melville secures USA Rugby role", BBC Sport, 12 October 2006. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Gloucester and Melville part company". Archived from the original on 14 February 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2009.
  3. ^ "Rugby reborn in the USA", BBC Sport, 13 October 2006. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Rugby reborn in the USA", BBC Sport, 13 October 2006. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Are Americans warming up to rugby? Why it may be the sport's time to shine", Guardian, 24 June 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Nigel Melville to Step Down as CEO of USA Rugby, Rugby International Marketing". 29 April 2016.
  7. ^ "RFU".
Sporting positions Preceded byJohn ScottPaul DodgeMike Harrison English National Rugby Union Captain Nov 19841986Mar 1988 Succeeded byPaul DodgeRichard HillJohn Orwin