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By NSWRU Media Unit
NSW Waratahs Ltd is a new, separate and distinct controlling body charged with the sole responsibility of administering all aspects of professional rugby in NSW, including Super Rugby.
Under the new governance model, which was developed in consultation with the Australian Rugby Union, NSWRU will grant a licence to NSW Waratahs Ltd to professionally manage and use the iconic "Waratahs" brand and be responsible for controlling all aspects of professional rugby both on and off the field.
NSWRU Chairman Edwin Zemancheff said the initiative was undertaken not only to further strengthen the existing governance structure, but also to allow the separate controlling bodies to now concentrate on the two separate areas of the sport - the game of rugby and the business of rugby.
"The Board has been increasingly aware of the competing demands between community and professional rugby and it recognised that a new, contemporary governance structure was required to administer the code in the best interests of all of its stakeholders," Mr Zemancheff said.
"By separating the competing administrative powers this new governance model will now allow the respective controlling Boards to apply much sharper attention to the critical needs and demands of those aspects of the game for which they are responsible."
NSW Waratahs Ltd will be governed by a separate group of independent directors with expertise in a wide range of critical areas such as business, finance, marketing, media and sponsorship and of course, a direct interest in rugby - who will focus on key decisions which impact on the professional game.
The move to separate the administration of the professional and community aspects of the game significantly strengthens rugby's professionalism in NSW and at the same time will deliver enhanced focus and skills to the game's grassroots.
Rugby's strong community and grassroots constituents, which include Juniors, Premier, Country and Suburban Rugby, will continue to be strongly represented on the NSWRU Board.
One of the key elements of establishing the new entity will be to ensure revenue created by NSW Waratahs Ltd is guaranteed to flow back to the grassroots levels of the game.
"A key advantage of the new model and one which was paramount in driving the change was to ensure that not only would NSW Waratahs Ltd be financially independent but would pay NSWRU sufficient revenue to underwrite, maintain, develop and grow the quality and quantity of our community and grassroots rugby programs," Mr Zemancheff said.
Current NSWRU directors Mr Zemancheff, Sally Loane and Jim L'Estrange have been appointed to the NSW Waratahs Ltd Board along with Russell Tate, Arvid Petersen and the players' representative Al Baxter. Mr Zemancheff and Ms Loane will remain on the NSWRU Board until replacements are appointed, while Mr L'Estrange - as NSW Rugby CEO - will sit on both Boards.
The inaugural Chairman of NSW Waratahs Ltd will be appointed at the first Board meeting in January.