The Board of the NSW Rugby Union and NSW Waratahs Rugby have formally accepted the resignation of chief executive officer, Jim L’Estrange.
The resignation will take effect at the end of August, with Mr L’Estrange overseeing a transition period in his dual roles as CEO and as a Director on the NSWRU and Waratahs Rugby Boards.
Waratahs Rugby Chairman Edwin Zemancheff has paid tribute to Mr L’Estrange’s diligence and passion for Rugby in NSW during his three-year tenure as CEO.
“Whilst we are sorry to see Jim go, we respect his reasons to do so, and wish to express our appreciation for the great work and results he achieved in running Australia’s oldest and most successful Rugby organisation,” said Mr Zemancheff.
“During Jim’s three years at NSW Rugby, the HSBC Waratahs finished second, fifth and third – contesting two Super 14 semi-finals and a final – and were the top-ranked Australian side in all three seasons. The Tooheys New Shute Shield has experienced its best years in recent memory and participation numbers in NSW have grown by around 5%.
“Jim was instrumental in the creation of a separate entity and Board to operate the professional arm of the sport in NSW through Waratahs Rugby Ltd. This is one of the most significant changes in the history of the Union, and along with a positive shift in the culture of the organisation both on and off the field, this will remain Jim’s greatest legacy.”
Mr L’Estrange has accepted a request to remain as a director on the Waratahs Rugby Board to ensure the transition period is as smooth as possible.
“With the expansion of Super Rugby in 2011, these are exciting times for Rugby in Australia so there are some mixed emotions in leaving,” said Mr L’Estrange. “However after going through the process of creating the Waratahs Board, the next step was always going to be the change to management structures across both entities.
“This is the right time for those changes to take place, so it is the right time to step aside.”
While Mr L’Estrange served as CEO of both NSW Rugby and the new Waratahs Rugby business, an external agency will commence the process of recruiting new heads for each individual entity.