Rugby Australia (RA) has today announced the appointment of Andy Marinos as its new Chief Executive Officer following unanimous endorsement from the RA Board.
Marinos joins Rugby Australia following five years as the CEO of SANZAAR, Rugby’s peak administrative body in the Southern Hemisphere, where he assisted in guiding the joint venture from its Sydney base through the challenges of COVID-19 and the shifting broadcast landscape.
Born in Zimbabwe, Marinos already has a comprehensive knowledge of the community game in Australia and is a regular volunteer at his local Rugby club, with his passion for the grassroots aligning with Rugby Australia’s commitment to grow the game.
Having worked across high performance positions previously, Marinos is well positioned to contribute to full scale of Australian Rugby from grassroots to schools Rugby and with the elite teams. Through his role with SANZAAR, Marinos has an established relationship with each of the Australian Super Rugby teams.
Marinos has strong experience in Europe from his time spent working in Wales as the Chief Executive of the Newport Gwent Dragons as well as sitting on the Board of the Welsh Rugby Union.
A former professional Rugby and Rugby 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 honours for Wales. Marinos also represented the then-Sydney (now Canterbury-Bankstown) Bulldogs in 1996.
The 48-year-old has also served in roles for the South African Rugby Union (SARU) where he worked as General Manager for Commercial and Marketing as well Springboks Team Manager, Manager of South African National Teams and SARU Acting Managing Director and Board Member.
Rugby Australia 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. 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.
“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.
“I congratulate Andy on his appointment and look forward to working with him on continuing to grow Rugby in Australia.
“I would also like to acknowledge and thank Rob Clarke for his service in 2020. Rob stepped into the role on short notice and has done an incredible job in re-structuring Rugby to be set up for future success,” McLennan said.
Incoming Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Andy Marinos said: “I’m incredibly humbled to accept the position of Chief Executive Officer of Rugby Australia and very excited about Rugby’s future in this country.
“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. 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. Next year has an exciting domestic and international rugby calendar so we need to be ready to maximise these opportunities.
“The game has endured substantial change over the last six to eight months and I’m optimistic and excited to be involved with Rugby Australia as it heads off in a new, positive strategic direction.
“We have a new broadcast partner in Nine Entertainment Co., a Rugby World Cup bid for 2027, a British and Irish Lions tour on the horizon, new competition formats, an exciting Wallabies calendar, an Olympic Games for our Sevens teams and a Rugby World Cup for our Buildcorp Wallaroos.
“I’m looking forward to the start of the new year, meeting and engaging with as many stakeholders as I can, as we continue Rugby’s growth at the grassroots level, as well as amongst our fans and participants. I’m passionate about building new commercial opportunities, enhancing stakeholder relationships, delivering a Rugby eco-system that provides clear aspirational pathways from the community to the National Teams, and working with our high performance teams to deliver a more competitive and engaged on-field product,” Marinos said.
Marinos will join Rugby Australia in February with a four-week handover scheduled with current interim Chief Executive Rob Clarke.