RLIF Board

Nigel Wood: Chairman

Nigel has been a Director of the RFL since 2002, being appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2007. During this time the RFL has delivered a profit in each consecutive year and investment around the sport has reached record levels. Nigel is also a Director of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a position he has held since the creation of the company in 1996.

Nigel was the Tournament Director for Rugby League World Cup 2013 and is committed to the expansion of the international game. In May 2014, he was elected as Chair of the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) having worked in support of the federation for the past ten years. Nigel is also Chair of the Business, Finance and Grants Sub-Committee, which has overseen the implementation of a formal grants protocol for the first time in the history of the organisation.

He has supported European development through his work with the RFL and assisted the development of the international game by working with broadcast partners to have the widest possible audience for international matches.

Nigel joined the RFL in 2001 and has held a number of positions in the organisation, including Chief Financial Officer. Prior to working for the RFL, Nigel was Chief Executive of Super League Club Halifax Blue Sox and Deputy Head of Finance for BBC North. He graduated from the University of Bradford in 1996 with an MBA in Business Administration.

Nigel played Rugby League for Bradford Northern and Halifax RLFC at junior levels and Huddersfield at reserve grade, together with a number of seasons playing Amateur Rugby League in the Pennine League.

John Grant - Vice Chairman

A civil engineer who also graduated to Rugby League's highest honour with a place in the 1972 World Cup, John Grant is a founding director and current Managing Director of one of Australia's largest publicly listed Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies, Data#3.

Honoured in 2010 with Australia's most prestigious Information and Technology Award, the Pearcey Medal, for his commitment to the ICT sector, John's strategic skills have seen him instilled in recent times as Chairman of the Australian Information Industry Association, a member of the previous Queensland Government's Ministerial Advisory Group and Smart State Council, Chairman of the Federal Government's IT Innovation Council and a member of Hewlett Packard's Asia Pacific Advisory Board.

From Brisbane City Council to IBM and the transformation of a Brisbane based software business into a publicly listed company with turn-over in excess of $800m and approaching 1,000 employees, John Grant has enjoyed a pioneering career in the ICT sector.

He brings to the ARL Commission a unique blend of business acumen and Rugby League experience as well as a respected ability to combine planning and action. Such abilities were the hallmarks of a playing career that saw the former centre for Souths in the Brisbane Rugby League represent both Queensland and Australia (each on six occasions) and graduate with honours as a Civil Engineer.

His focus on process, planning and accountability will be key to the ARL Commission's strategic direction as will his determination to search out opportunity and to make the most of every changing circumstance

Brian Barwick

Brian Barwick took up the role of Non-Executive Chairman at the Rugby Football League in February 2013. He has a wealth of experience in sport and broadcasting and is the founding partner of Barwick Media and Sport, a global sport and media consultancy.

Brian has held a number of senior positions including, Chief Executive of the Football Association, Controller of Sport at ITV, and a number of key roles within the BBC, including Head of Television Sport.

Brian was Chief Executive of the Football Association from 2005 to 2008 where he saw through the completion of the new Wembley Stadium, launched the Respect campaign and was involved in the appointment of England's senior coach on two occasions. He was also a board member of Wembley Stadium Ltd and FIFA's Legal Committee and UEFA's National Teams Committee.

Brian studied economics at Liverpool University and began his career as a reporter on the North Western Evening Mail. He is married with two sons. He currently holds a number of posts including a visiting Professorship of Strategic Leadership at The School of Management at Liverpool University and Chairman of the Advisory Board at the University College of Football Business.

John Bishop

John Bishop is a qualified accountant with a business background in finance and is an accredited director of the New Zealand Institute of Directors, with strong governance skills.

John was appointed to the Board of New Zealand Rugby League in 2008 and since that time has also served as the Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.

Whilst qualifying as a chartered accountant John has worked in a variety of roles in banking and commerce both internationally and more latterly in New Zealand. Up to 2003 John was General Manager of ASB Bank’s Commercial and Business banking business and was a part of the Bank’s Executive Management team.

Since leaving ASB John has been the CEO of a mid-market company and more recently has operated as an Independent Director and Investor in a variety of businesses across a range of different industries. John also serves on a number of Trust Boards in the not for profit sector.

John joined the Board of the RLIF in 2011 as the second New Zealand representative and currently chairs the Audit and Risk Committee. John also serves as a director on the Rugby League World Cup 2013 PLC Board

Charles Carlson

Charles Carlson is the President of the Cook Islands Rugby League since 2004. He was elected as the new President of the Asia Pacific Rugby League Confederation (APRLC) in March 2013 and represents APRLC on the Rugby League International Board. Charles is employed as the Director of Emergency Management Cook Islands, a division under the Office of the Prime Minister.

An active member of the United Nations Damage Assessment Coordinators that gets called upon during major disasters in the region. While his workplace is very demanding, his passion for the game is quite eminent. Charles still plays league at the masters level local/international and is very passionate to see the game grow within the Asia Pacific region and internationally.

Garry Fissenden

A qualified accountant, Garry Fissenden is currently CEO of the industry training organisation, "The Skills Organisation".

He was born and bred in West Auckland, playing for the Te Atatu Roosters rugby league club.

Since 2003 he has been involved in managing companies or consulting on strategy and operations. He has a broad business background having been a chief financial officer, general manager technology, general manager operations and a CEO.

Fissenden has been a NZRL director since 2009 and rose to the chair in 2014, when Scott Carter stepped down.

Tagaloa Fa’afouina Su’a

A certified public accountant and former Toa Samoa Captain, Tagaloa Fa’afouina Su’a is the President of Rugby League Samoa. Su’a graduated from Lincoln University, New Zealand, with a degree in Bcom Accounting.

He became a member of the Samoa Institute of Accountants and New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants, and established the ground breaking Samoan accounting and sports facilitating firm, Su’a & Associates. In 2012 Su’a & Associates was honoured with the International Star Award for Quality in the Gold Category during the International Star for Quality Convention in Geneva, Switzerland.

Su’a has been involved heavily in both rugby league and union in Samoa since completing university, becoming Captain of the national Toa Samoa rugby league team in 1999. In 2005 he was elected President of Marist Sports Club, a role he held for 6 years until he resigned in 2011 to take up the Presidency of Rugby League Samoa. Su’a is also an executive member of the HSBC Penguins International Rugby Club.

A highly regarded and trusted business advisor, Su’a serves on a variety of Samoan government and private boards and committees, including acting as Chairman for the SPREP Audit Committee in Apia and Treasurer of the Asia Pacific Island Rugby League Federation. He is Vice Chairman of the Marist Ben Leia Trust, established to support the former Manu youth rugby league player who became a tetraplegic after a horrific training accident. After serving as board member of the Asia-Pacific Rugby League Federation, Su’a was elected to the board of the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) in 2013. With shrewd business acumen and a passion for sport focussing on growth in the Pacific Region, international level.

Graeme Thompson

A former Scotland international at student and senior levels, Graeme was the first rugby league development officer for Scotland. He went on to work in the academy and development departments at the London Broncos from 1998 to 2001 before joining the RFL's Performance Department, becoming Performance Director in 2006 and England Team Manager for the 2008 world cup.

He left rugby league to take up a post at UK Sport followed by being the Performance Director for GB Water Polo. He is presently Performance Director for GB Curling. Graeme has been a Director on the RLEF Board since 2010 and on the RLIF Board since 2011

Carlos Zalzuendo

Carlos Zalzuendo is the Chairman of the French Rugby League Federation. He arrived in Toulouse in 1967 and discovered rugby league. He played for Toulouse (1969-80), Villeneuve (1980-82) and Saint-Gaudens (1982-84).
During his playing career, he was selected 25 times to play for the French National Team and beat Australia twice in 1978. He was twice French Champion with Toulouse in 1973 and 1975.

After his playing career, he became Vice-president of the French Rugby League Federation between 1985 and 1994 and took then the chair of the Toulouse Olympique XIII Club (1995 – 2012).

As RLEF Director, Carlos is involved on the RLIF since his recent election of Chairman of the French Rugby League Federation.

Todd Greenberg

Todd Greenberg is currently the CEO at the National Rugby League (NRL), previous to this role, he was Head of Football at the NRL with responsibility to develop and lead Football strategy and operations across the whole of game. This includes leading and governing the NRL Elite competitions along with an oversight across Game development, Pathways and Participation.

Prior to joining the NRL, Greenberg spent six years as the Chief Executive Officer of the Bulldogs Rugby League Club making him at the time, the youngest CEO in the National Rugby League.

David Collier - CEO

David Collier is a graduate of Loughborough University reading Sports Science and Recreation Management and he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2014 by the University for his services to sport . He completed his studies in managing multi-national corporations at Insead Paris and Wharton Business School USA .David has experience in serving on two world governing bodies of sport , the International Cricket Council and the International Hockey Federation , as well as being a Tournament Director at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi . He has senior executive management experience in the airline and computer systems industries including responsibility for operations in 103 countries . For the past 10 years he has served as the CEO of the England and Wales Cricket Board where he was credited with transforming the finances and structure of the sport.

Andrew Hill - Secretary

Andrew Hill commenced work at the NRL in February 2011 as Director, League Integration and Game Development. Andrew’s role focusses on the relationship between the NRL and major Rugby League stakeholders, as well as managing Game Development and High Performance.

After he finished his playing career, and whilst completing his management course, Andrew began work with the ARL Group Training Company, a company established in 1995 by the Australian Rugby League to cater for young sports people by providing traineeship and apprenticeship opportunities whilst also supporting their sporting endeavours. He has experienced all four major football codes in Australia, holding various positions from Development Manager to CEO across the Western Reds and Parramatta Eels Rugby League Clubs, Parramatta Two Blues Rugby Club, Parramatta Power Soccer Club and the AFL. Currently Andrew is company secretary for the Rugby League International Federation as well as company secretary and the Australian Director on the Asia Pacific Rugby League Confederation.