WALES Rugby League has appointed Chris Thair as Chief Operating Officer, a key appointment in the build up to the 2013 World Cup.
Thair joins the WRL following over a decade’s service at the Rugby Football League in senior executive positions across the community and professional arms of the sport, most recently as Salary Cap and Licensing Manager.
“This is such an exciting period to be joining Wales Rugby League due to the growing popularity of the sport and it being World Cup year” said Thair.
“I wish to build upon much of the positive work that has taken place in recent years and I’m excited by the challenge ahead in moving forward the business of the National Governing Body and, most importantly, the sport for this very proud nation”.
After joining the RFL from London Broncos RLFC in 2001, Thair was a hugely influential figure in the sports community department which moved from having a handful of staff and very little budget to being awarded £29m early in 2009. Within this period Chris had progressed to the position of a national community manager; Thair then moved over to the professional game as Club Support Manager, working with all of the Super League and Championships clubs and their charitable foundations. Having helped to develop a number of the clubs partner charitable foundations,
Thair is credited with the idea of Rugby League Cares, a new central umbrella charity linked to the RFL. Thair was also integral to the recent Championship review which resulted in major changes to tier 2 of the playing pyramid with the introduction of new clubs, a change to central distributions and the introduction of a new cup final for Championship One teams. Having previously worked with David Waite in the Performance department and playing a central role in Super League Licensing, Thair’s experience will be a strong addition to WRL.
WRL Chairman Brian Juliff welcomed Thair saying “We are delighted Chris has accepted this new role because we believe his experience will prove to be invaluable in progressing our governance and delivery. We believe he is going to be a great asset to WRL”.
His role will see him joining the WRL Board as an Executive Director working with WRL Chairman Brian Juliff in a crucial year as Wales play in the Rugby League World Cup in October plus other World Cups at Wheelchair and Student level.