Zimbabwean Andy Marinos says he’s humbled by his appointment as Rugby Australia’s new chief executive after being formally announced as Raelene Castle’s long-term successor.

Marinos will officially take over from interim CEO Rob Clarke in February after serving his notice period with SANZAAR, where he has been chief executive for five years.

It’s understood the 48-year-old father of six impressed the RA board with his extensive credentials, most recently playing a pivotal role in negotiating the new broadcast deal with Nine and Stan.

Sydney-based Marinos has strong experience in Europe from his time spent working in Wales as chief executive of the Newport Gwent Dragons as well as sitting on the board of the Welsh Rugby Union.

A former professional rugby and rugby League player, Marinos played for the then-Natal Sharks, Western Province and the Stormers before moving to Newport and playing 97 times for the Dragons where he then earned Test honours for Wales.

Marinos, who also played for Canterbury in the ARL in 1996, shapes a key figure in Australia’s 2027 World Cup bid after establishing networks around the world.

His other administrative roles include being South African Rugby Union general manager for commercial and marketing as well Springboks team manager, manager of South African National Teams and SARU acting managing director and board member.

His vast experience earned him the nod over shortlisted candidates Chris White, John Eales’ manager and CEO of International Quarterback.

In taking the reins from Clarke, who didn’t apply, Marinos will follow in the footsteps of the likes of John O’Neill, widely considered one of Australia’s great sporting administrators and be charged with restoring rugby’s place in the national sporting pecking order following years of decline.

“Andy has an exciting vision for rugby in Australia, and he knows what needs to be done to continue the code’s success into 2021 and beyond,” said Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan.

“I would also like to acknowledge and thank Rob Clarke for his service in 2020.

“Rob stepped into the role on short notice and has done an incredible job in re-structuring rugby to be set up for future success.”

Marinos said he was “incredibly humbled” to be handed the top job in Australian rugby.

“Despite there being a lot of hard work ahead, I believe that Rugby Australia is uniquely placed for success both domestically and on the global stage,” he said.

“We need to hit the ground running and build momentum from the start so we can continue to move forward with deliberate intent, as we look to reignite the game from the bottom up.

“Next year has an exciting domestic and international rugby calendar so we need to be ready to maximise these opportunities.

“The game has endured substantial change over the last six to eight months and I’m optimistic and excited to be involved with Rugby Australia as it heads off in a new, positive strategic direction.”

TVNZ

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