John Grant - Chairman

John Grant has a long and successful history of involvement in rugby league as a player and administrator.

 

He commenced playing at school and progressed to first grade for Brisbane’s Southern Suburbs in the Brisbane Rugby League competition.  He played over 230 first class matches between 1970 and 1978.  He represented Queensland on seven occasions and was a member of the 1972 Australia World Cup Squad playing in six matches including the final in Lyon. He also played the 1972-73 season with Warrington in England.

 

Subsequent to his playing career, he was the inaugural Chairman of the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) from 2012 to 2018.  The ARLC is the governing body for rugby league in Australia responsible for developing the game from the juniors to the elite NRL and international levels.  As Chairman, John oversaw significant development of rugby league both on and off the field in Australia and, as an RLIF Director since 2014, he has contributed to expansion of rugby league internationally culminating in the successful Men’s and Women’s Rugby League World Cups in Australia, New Zealand and PNG in 2017.

 

Prior to his roles in administration of rugby league, John enjoyed a pioneering career in the ICT Sector in Australia as Managing Director of ASX listed Data#3 Limited from 1997 until 2015.  He was inducted into the Australian ICT Industry Hall of Fame in 2008 and in 2010 was honoured with Australia’s most prestigious Information and Technology Award for services to the IT Sector, the Pearcey Medal. 

 

He brings a unique blend of business acumen and International Rugby League experience to leadership of RLIF.

Graeme Thompson - Vice Chair

A former Scotland international at student and senior levels, Graeme was the first rugby league development officer for Scotland. He went on to work in the academy and development departments at the London Broncos from 1998 to 2001 before joining the RFL's Performance Department, becoming Performance Director in 2006 and England Team Manager for the 2008 world cup.

He left rugby league to take up a post at UK Sport followed by being the Performance Director for GB Water Polo. He is presently Performance Director for GB Curling. Graeme has been a Director on the RLEF Board since 2010 and on the RLIF Board since 2011

John Bishop

John Bishop is a qualified accountant with a business background in finance and is an accredited director of the New Zealand Institute of Directors, with strong governance skills.

John was appointed to the Board of New Zealand Rugby League in 2008 and since that time has also served as the Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.

Whilst qualifying as a chartered accountant John has worked in a variety of roles in banking and commerce both internationally and more latterly in New Zealand. Up to 2003 John was General Manager of ASB Bank’s Commercial and Business banking business and was a part of the Bank’s Executive Management team.

Since leaving ASB John has been the CEO of a mid-market company and more recently has operated as an Independent Director and Investor in a variety of businesses across a range of different industries. John also serves on a number of Trust Boards in the not for profit sector.

John joined the Board of the RLIF in 2011 as the second New Zealand representative and currently chairs the Audit and Risk Committee. John also serves as a director on the Rugby League World Cup 2013 PLC Board

Charles Carlson

Charles Carlson is the President of the Cook Islands Rugby League since 2004. He was elected as the new President of the Asia Pacific Rugby League Confederation (APRLC) in March 2013 and represents APRLC on the Rugby League International Board. Charles is employed as the Director of Emergency Management Cook Islands, a division under the Office of the Prime Minister.

An active member of the United Nations Damage Assessment Coordinators that gets called upon during major disasters in the region. While his workplace is very demanding, his passion for the game is quite eminent. Charles still plays league at the masters level local/international and is very passionate to see the game grow within the Asia Pacific region and internationally.

Todd Greenberg

Todd Greenberg is currently the CEO at the National Rugby League (NRL), previous to this role, he was Head of Football at the NRL with responsibility to develop and lead Football strategy and operations across the whole of game. This includes leading and governing the NRL Elite competitions along with an oversight across Game development, Pathways and Participation.

Prior to joining the NRL, Greenberg spent six years as the Chief Executive Officer of the Bulldogs Rugby League Club making him at the time, the youngest CEO in the National Rugby League.

Alex Hayton

Alex has been with NZ Rugby League since 2007. He was appointed CEO in June 2016 having previously been CFO.

Reon Edwards

Reon Edwards is Chairman of New Zealand Rugby League and Director of the Rugby League International Federation. He has been involved with Rugby League since 1980 having played the game for 25 years and then becoming involved in various administration and governance roles within the game. He has also held several governance roles within the commercial sector since 2013.

 

Reon has a strong commercial background across the Airline and International Freight Forwarding/Logistics industries. Over the past 20 years he has been employed in various senior management and sales & marketing roles. He was also shareholder of an International Freight Forwarding/Logistics business until 2017 when his business was acquired by global leader DB Schenker. Reon is now employed as the New Zealand Director of DB Schenker, responsible for over 150 staff.

 

In 2011, Reon graduated from Massey University with an MBA and has continued his executive development by completing courses through the NZ Institute of Directors and Mt Eliza Business School in Melbourne.

 

Reon leads a busy but enjoyable life together with his wife and daughter. In his spare time he loves training at the gym, competing in trail running events and travelling overseas with the family.

 

Brian Barwick

Brian Barwick took up the role of Non-Executive Chairman at the Rugby Football League in February 2013. He has a wealth of experience in sport and broadcasting and is the founding partner of Barwick Media and Sport, a global sport and media consultancy.

Brian has held a number of senior positions including, Chief Executive of the Football Association, Controller of Sport at ITV, and a number of key roles within the BBC, including Head of Television Sport.

Brian was Chief Executive of the Football Association from 2005 to 2008 where he saw through the completion of the new Wembley Stadium, launched the Respect campaign and was involved in the appointment of England's senior coach on two occasions. He was also a board member of Wembley Stadium Ltd and FIFA's Legal Committee and UEFA's National Teams Committee.

Brian studied economics at Liverpool University and began his career as a reporter on the North Western Evening Mail. He is married with two sons. He currently holds a number of posts including a visiting Professorship of Strategic Leadership at The School of Management at Liverpool University and Chairman of the Advisory Board at the University College of Football Business.

Tagaloa Fa’afouina Su’a

A certified public accountant and former Toa Samoa Captain, Tagaloa Fa’afouina Su’a is the President of Rugby League Samoa. Su’a graduated from Lincoln University, New Zealand, with a degree in Bcom Accounting.

He became a member of the Samoa Institute of Accountants and New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants, and established the ground breaking Samoan accounting and sports facilitating firm, Su’a & Associates. In 2012 Su’a & Associates was honoured with the International Star Award for Quality in the Gold Category during the International Star for Quality Convention in Geneva, Switzerland.

Su’a has been involved heavily in both rugby league and union in Samoa since completing university, becoming Captain of the national Toa Samoa rugby league team in 1999. In 2005 he was elected President of Marist Sports Club, a role he held for 6 years until he resigned in 2011 to take up the Presidency of Rugby League Samoa. Su’a is also an executive member of the HSBC Penguins International Rugby Club.

A highly regarded and trusted business advisor, Su’a serves on a variety of Samoan government and private boards and committees, including acting as Chairman for the SPREP Audit Committee in Apia and Treasurer of the Asia Pacific Island Rugby League Federation. He is Vice Chairman of the Marist Ben Leia Trust, established to support the former Manu youth rugby league player who became a tetraplegic after a horrific training accident. After serving as board member of the Asia-Pacific Rugby League Federation, Su’a was elected to the board of the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) in 2013. With shrewd business acumen and a passion for sport focussing on growth in the Pacific Region, international level.

Nigel Wood CEO

Nigel has a long and outstandingly successful career in Rugby League administration, serving as the Rugby Football League’s Chief Executive Officer between 2007 and 2018 and Chief Executive and Director of Super League (Europe) Ltd from its creation in 1996 until 2018. During this time the RFL and SLE Ltd have grown revenues from £18m to £52m and have delivered profits in each consecutive year and investment around the sport has reached record levels. Prior to his CEO role, Nigel was formerly Chief Operating Officer and Financial Director at the RFL having joined the organisation in 2001 following a significant period of political and financial distress within the sport.

Nigel was also the Chairman of the hugely successful Rugby League World Cup 2013 and currently sits as Chair of the Rugby League Cup 2021.

 

Internationally, Nigel has been the Chairman of the Rugby League International Federation since 2014. Nigel is due to become Chief Executive Officer of the RLIF in June 2018.

 

Before entering the sport of Rugby League, Nigel was Chief Executive of Super League club Halifax Blue Sox, 1995-2001, and Deputy Head of Finance for BBC North. Prior to this, Nigel held roles in the textile industry, manufacturing and chartered accountants Deloitte, Haskins and Sells. Nigel is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and graduated from the University of Bradford in 1996 with an MBA in Business Administration.

 

Nigel played Rugby League for Bradford Northern and Halifax RLFC at junior levels and Huddersfield at reserve grade, together with a number of seasons playing Amateur Rugby League in the Pennine League.

More recently Nigel has deposited his extensive private collection of Rugby League programmes at the University of Huddersfield’s Rugby League archive to create a national archive for the sport. The collection currently stands at approximately 20,000 programmes.