FORMER Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick has been appointed as the new chairman of the Rugby Football League.
Barwick, who hails from Liverpool and now lives in Twickenham, will take up the position as non-executive chairman on Friday – just as the new Super League season gets underway.
The RFL say Childwall-born Barwick, who writes a fortnightly sports column in The Liverpool Post, brings a wealth of experience in sport and broadcasting to the role, having held a number of senior positions in the worlds of sport and media. These include controller of sport at ITV and a number of key roles within the BBC, including head of television sport, as well as chairman of the FA.
Welcoming the appointment, RFL chief executive Nigel Wood said: “I am delighted that we have been able to attract a sports administrator of Brian’s calibre. His track record speaks for itself. Brian’s considerable experience will help us take the game forward as Rugby League prepares to embark on the most important year in its history with a competitive Super League, a new-look Championships and, of course, the Rugby League World Cup in England and Wales this autumn.”
Barwick said: “I am absolutely delighted to accept the position as the new Chairman of the RFL. Rugby League is a sport I have a genuine respect and affection for and I am determined to spread the word about what a great sport Rugby League is, especially at this exciting time when we host the Rugby League World Cup in England and Wales.
“The RFL is a widely respected governing body, with an exceptionally strong management team which has produced outstanding results over the last decade and I am very much looking forward to joining the Board and working with my new colleagues to take this great game forward.”
Commenting on the contribution Maurice Watkins has made to the RFL in his capacity as interim chairman, Nigel Wood said: “I want to pay tribute to the excellent work that Maurice Watkins has done as our interim chairman. Maurice is a man of outstanding competence, integrity and independence and I am very pleased he is continuing on the independent board for the rest of his term of office.”