Zimbabwe-born Andy Marinos will take over as Rugby Australia’s new chief executive after being formally announced as Raelene Castle’s long-term successor on Wednesday night.
Marinos will take over from interim CEO Rob Clarke in February after serving his notice period with the southern hemisphere rugby governing body SANZAAR, where he had been chief executive.
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 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 honors for Wales.
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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.”
The 48-year-old has also served in roles for the South African Rugby Union where he worked as general manager for commercial and marketing as well as Springboks team manager, manager of South African national teams and SARU acting managing director and board member.
RA chairman Hamish McLennan said that Marinos was the standout candidate with a strong global network, significant high performance, commercial and broadcast experience from around the world, as well as proven connections within the Australian game.
“Andy is an extremely impressive and experienced rugby administrator who covered every key criterion that the board wanted to see in our new chief executive officer,” McLennan said.
“He’s called Australia home for the last five years and he has an outstanding understanding of the rugby landscape in this country.
“He has a wealth of experience in managing broadcasters and commercial partners and also boasts impeccable relationships with the Six Nations unions which, together with his SANZAAR connections, strengthens Rugby Australia’s bid to host the 2027 Rugby World Cup.
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“Through his recent roles in Wales, with South African Rugby and with SANZAAR, Andy is uniquely placed to hit the ground running in 2021 with a new broadcast landscape and new competition structures.
“This is an exciting time for rugby with a new broadcast partnership with Nine Entertainment Co., as well as the opportunity we have in the community level of the game.
“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.”