NRL names inaugural eight commissioners - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL names inaugural eight commissioners

Steve Jancetic 21/07/2011 07:37:37 PM Comments (0)

NRL chief executive David Gallop claimed there was still some way to go, despite rugby league's drawn out path to independence reaching a significant milestone with the naming of the members of the inaugural commission.

Former international John Grant will chair a group which includes Catherine Harris, Ian Elliott, Peter Gregg, Gary Pemberton, Jeremy Sutcliffe, Chris Sarra as well as former Test and NSW Origin representative Wayne Pearce.

The list was unveiled by South Sydney president Nick Pappas - who was part of the selection committee - at Thursday's NRL summit of club bosses in Sydney.

The naming of the commissioners has been a long time coming, but Gallop said the announcement didn't signal the handover of control of the game from current owners News Limited and the Australian Rugby League.

"It's easy for everyone to say we've now got eight commissioners and, therefore, the commission's going to start today," Gallop said.

"Nick Pappas made it clear today that there's still a fair bit of work to be done before the commission can actually be established, but certainly having the eight people appointed is a significant step."

It is believed the commission will be in place to take over before the start of next season, which officially begins on November 1.

The announcement of the eight commissioners was certainly a poignant moment for Gold Coast chief executive Michael Searle, who had been one of the driving forces behind the initial push for independence more than two years ago.

"I'm happy for it to come to fruition, I'm happy for those involved in the game, to bring a close to the armistice and hopefully get on with the new era in rugby league," Searle said.

"It was an important thing for the game, I think both partners, the Australian Rugby League and News Limited, have done the right thing through the negotiations ... a restructure is the right outcome for our game but also for our partners."

Asked about thosewho have chosen to be on the first commission, Searle said: "I think the game's achieved what it set out to do, which is try to put a corporate lid onto (the structure) and maintain the very fabric of the game of rugby league."

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