Rugby Australia: Shock as chief executive Andy Marinos resigns months before the Rugby World Cup

·3-min read
 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Rugby Australia (RA) has been left reeling just months out from the Rugby World Cup after its chief executive Andy Marinos stepped down.

Marinos was appointed in December 2020 with a task of steering the governing body through difficult financial times in the wake of the Covid pandemic.

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The former CEO of SANZAAR will remain in his position until mid-June when his successor will take the role.

Significant change

Andy Marinos has decided to leave his role in the coming weeks to pursue new opportunities,” RA said in a statement.

“Marinos joined RA … with a specific mandate to secure the immediate and long-term future of Rugby in Australia, at a time when sporting codes globally were grappling with the commercial and operational impacts of Covid-19.

“In his two years, Marinos has overseen significant change for rugby in Australia, including the financial turnaround from a A$27.1 million loss in 2020 to an A$8.2m profit for 2022, as announced at the recent annual general meeting.”

Phil Waugh, one of the Wallabies’ great flankers during the 2000s, is believed to be a leading candidate to replace Marinos, with ex-NRL boss Todd Greenberg also in the running.

“I cannot overstate the commitment and incredible work ethic of the people around me at RA and the roles they have played in helping drive some critical structural changes for rugby in this country,” Marinos said.

“The foundations have been established and the business is now well-prepared to test the market for private equity investment, making it the right time for me to move on.

“Importantly, I will leave with the knowledge that RA is in a stronger position than when I joined, and proud of what has been achieved in my tenure as CEO.

“I want to thank the board for the opportunity to lead this organisation, the member unions and the Super Rugby clubs for their support.”

Rugby World Cup success

During his time as CEO, Marinos helped Australia to win the bids for the 2027 and 2029 men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups.

He received praise from chairman Hamish McLennan, who paid tribute to the work of the 50-year-old.

“We asked Andy to draw upon his impressive career experience and extensive global relationships to re-establish rugby as a leading code in Australia – he has delivered on this and been fundamental in the turnaround of the business,” McLennan said.

“Andy will leave RA having delivered several key projects, including the finalisation of the 2027 and 2029 Rugby World Cups and locking in the 2025 British and Irish Lions Tour.

“He has planned for a new contracting model for the professional game, implementation of strategy to professionalise Women’s XVs Rugby, and a new four-year Collective Bargaining Agreement for our professional men’s and women’s players.”

READ MORE: Eddie Jones: Wallabies want to be ‘number one’ in the world

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