Super Rugby

Board of Directors


Mr Damien Frawley - Chairman

Following the 2013 QRU Annual General Meeting, held on 20 April, the QRU Board appointed Damien Frawley as its first independent director.
Damien had a distinguished playing career in Rugby Union, representing both Queensland and NSW as well as playing 10 Tests for the Wallabies.
Damien is currently the CEO of the successful institutional investment manager, QIC - having taken up the role in 2012.
Damien has over 26 years’ experience in the financial services sector, with a strong focus on developing and executing strategy, particularly around growth and sales.
Most recently, Damien was the country head of BlackRock Australia, responsible for managing $45 billion of assets on behalf of clients. Prior to this, Damien was BlackRock’s Head of Account Management, overseeing sales, marketing and product efforts across institutional and retail channels.
Damien’s career has also included roles at Merrill Lynch Investment Management, Barclays Global Investors and Citibank.
Damien is a member of CEDA State Advisory Council (October 2012) and a member of the Financial Services Council Investment Board Committee (December 2012).



James is an experienced senior finance executive with more than 25 years of progressive experience that bridges commercial growth with finance and operations management within both the Public and Private sector having most recently worked with Aurizon, Brambles and NMHG. He has a comprehensive understanding of corporate governance, risk management and managing financial performance. James has extensive involvement in Queensland rugby having played with GPS Old Boys Rugby Club and coached colts, junior club and schoolboy rugby.


Mr Mark Connors

Prior to his appointment to the Queensland Rugby Board in April 2012, Mark Connors served as a Director of the Australian Rugby Union Board for five years from 2007 spanning both the 2007 and 2011 World Cups. As the Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA) representative on the ARU Board, Connors’ appointment enhances the QRU with the necessary skills to address the many challenges facing the Code in the next three years. As a former player, Mark represented both the Queensland Reds and the Wallabies. He played 134 games for Queensland and gained 20 caps for the Wallabies including Tri-Nations and Bledisloe Cup wins. He was also a member of the 1999 World Cup winning Wallaby team. Mark is an Investment Adviser with Wilson HTM in Brisbane. Prior to that he held a career in law for 12 years where he worked with firms MurphySchmidt Solicitors and Ebsworth & Ebsworth Lawyers.


Mr Paul McNicholl BSc (Hons) (UQ), BEcon (UQ), GAICD

Paul McNicholl has more than 25 years of experience in senior executive roles in major public companies in both the industrial and consumer retail markets. Currently Managing Director of Valmont Australia Paul has a wealth of business knowledge and commercial acumen. He is also a Director of Donhad Pty Ltd and Webforge Australia Pty Ltd. Past Directorships include Voca Communications Pty Ltd and the Australian Steel Institute. Paul played for Queensland in 71-72, served on the Committee of the University of Qld Rugby Club for 10 years and was a referee for several years. He was elected to the Board on April 17, 2010.


NATHAN SHARPE - Player Appointed Director

Nathan Sharpe played 70 times for the Reds and earned 116 caps for Australia. Originally from Wagga Wagga (NSW), Sharpe’s affinity with Rugby began when he moved to Queensland as an 11-year-old. As a teenager, he studied at Gold Coast Rugby nursery The Southport School, where he earned representative honours with the Queensland and Australian Schoolboys sides. He also went on to represent the Australian Under-19s and Under-21s. He joined the Queensland Reds squad in 1996, as an 18-year-old, and went on to represent the state 70 times between 1998 and 2005. The imposing lock made his Test debut in 2002 and captained the Wallabies during his final tour in 2012. He was previously a RUPA Board Director from 2004-2008 and also from 2010-2012. Sharpe, who lives in Queensland, hung up his boots in 2012 and is now a Director of a national recruitment company. He has kept in touch with the game since retirement as a player, including as a Wallabies set-piece coach in 2013. He has also held various commentary roles with broadcasters Fox Sports and Channel 10 and is an ambassador for the QRU, Brothers Rugby Club and GingerCloud initiative ‘Modified Rugby Program’, which allows children who learn and perceive differently to play Rugby.


Mr Mark Stanton BBUS, FCA

Mark Stanton, a chartered accountant, has had a successful career leading a number of SMEs. He has made an extensive contribution to community Rugby and was recently awarded life membership of Brothers Rugby Club. Mark is a director and the treasurer of Royal Queensland Golf Club and he also spends time managing his own philanthropic initiative. He is married with four children.


Mr Ross Thompson

Ross’ leadership and operational skills have been proven in sports, corporate and military environments. Most recently, Ross was the Group Operations Manager for Cardno in Brisbane. During his corporate career, Ross has built sustainable and profitable operations in Australia, Middle East and across Asia and Africa, and run a successful Emerging Markets business for a global, ASX-listed company. He was responsible for overseeing the development of a world class sporting facility in Abu Dhabi and managing the operations for the inaugural Formula One race there. He has a passion for Rugby and has played all over the world, including representing the British Army and Scottish Exiles. Ross was appointed by the Board on August 6th 2015 to fill a casual vacancy and this was later confirmed by the Members on August 29th 2015.


Michelle Thomsen

Michelle commenced her role as Group Executive, General Counsel and Company Secretary to BOQ in July 2015. She is responsible for managing the Group’s in-house Legal & Secretariat team and for managing relationships with external legal partners. She also advises the CEO & Managing Director and the BOQ Board in relation to legal & governance matters.

Ms Thomsen was Executive General Manager – Associate General Counsel – Group Services at the Suncorp Group before joining BOQ where she was responsible for the Group Services legal team and for managing legal advice in relation to strategic projects and transactions across the Suncorp Group. Prior to joining BOQ, Ms Thomsen has worked in other in-house legal roles, including with Babcock & Brown in Australia and the United Kingdom. She was a partner at SJ Berwin LLP (now King & Wood Mallesons) in London, before returning to Queensland in 2012.

Michelle is admitted as a solicitor in the Supreme Courts of New South Wales and Queensland and holds a current practicing certificate in Queensland. She is also admitted as a solicitor of the senior courts of England and Wales holds a current practising certificate in England and Wales.






Richard Barker - CEO

Appointed Queensland Rugby Union CEO on 2 June, 2016, Richard Barker and his family have had a long and successful involvement with Queensland Rugby from school boys through to Queensland Reds and Wallabies. He is a former captain of the Queensland Country Rugby union team and played against Fiji, Canada and the touring All Blacks in the mid-1980s. As a schoolboy, Barker played Rugby at St. Joseph’s Nudgee College representing the school First XV for two years. Throughout the 1980s he played Premier Grade in the Queensland Premier Rugby competition for Teachers-Norths, as well as for the Pioneers Rugby club in Rockhampton. More recently, he has been a junior Rugby coach at grassroots level.

Barker began his media career in 1981 with Australian Posters Outdoor Advertising. In 1986, he joined Radio 4BK. Barker was a member of the team that successfully launched B105FM in February 1990, later becoming Sales Director and then General Manager of B105FM.

In 2003, Barker was appointed General Manager, Southern Cross Austereo Brisbane, overseeing both the B105FM and 104.5 Triple M brands in Queensland. He has been a board member of the Children's Hospital Foundation Queensland and of the Brisbane Powerhouse. In recent years, Barker has participated in the CEO Sleepout for Vinnies, which raises valuable funds for the homeless and last year he was the highest fundraiser in Queensland.


Jeff Miller - President

Originally born in Arizona in 1962, former Queensland and Wallabies flanker Jeff Miller and his family made the move to Australia in 1965. He was then introduced to Rugby Union at De La Salle College in Scarborough.

Following school, Miller first played Brisbane Club Rugby for Teachers/Norths where he modelled his game on Chris Roche before making his debut for Queensland in 1982 at the age of 19. Despite being selected for the Wallabies tour to Italy and France at the end of 1982, Miller battled for Queensland and Australian selection throughout the early stages of his career with Roche, GPS’ David Codey and Wests’ Julian Gardner.

1986 was a turning point for Miller, with the flanker making his Wallabies debut during the Australian side’s tour of New Zealand at Carisbrook. A controversial ‘no try’ decision robbed the Wallabies of a win. The series and the Bledisloe Cup hinged on the third Test at Eden Park, and it was in this match that Miller made his mark as Australia won convincingly by 22 points to 9.

Miller was a regular in in the Queensland and Wallabies sides thereafter and featured for Australia at the 1987 Rugby World Cup. In 1989 Miller also played against the touring British & Irish Lions, taking part in the brutal ‘Battle of Ballymore’ match.

Miller played his last game for Queensland in 1991, fittingly in a match against Wales at Ballymore. He was carried off the field after the match on the shoulders of Michael Lynagh and Cameron Lillicrap, whom he had played club Rugby with for University of Queensland as well as at a state and national level. Miller went on to play in the pool stages of the 1991 World Cup, but was unfortunately omitted from the semi-final and final with then head coach Bob Dwyer opting for more height in the back-row, introducing Souths’ loose-forward Troy Coker to the starting XV.

In an illustrious career, Miller gave his all in 69 games for Queensland and 26 Test matches. After retiring from Rugby, Miller moved into coaching and was assistant coach to Rod Macqueen when the Wallabies won the World Cup in 1999 in Wales. He then moved on to become the high-performance general manager for the Wallabies before becoming CEO of Queensland Rugby Union. When Andrew Slack resigned as coach of the Queensland Reds, Miller returned to coaching as head coach of the Reds from 2004 to 2006.


Mr Bill Ross - Vice President

Queensland Rugby Vice President Bill Ross is a former Wallaby and Queensland player and Queensland team manager, who was elected as a Queensland Rugby Vice President in 2010. Mr Ross is a senior executive with Savills Queensland and a committee member of both the Vintage Reds and Classic Wallabies.


Mr Andrew Slack - Vice President

Grand Slam winning Wallabies captain Andrew Slack was elected alongside fellow Vice President Bill Ross in 2012. Slack enjoyed a prolific and highly decorated Rugby career for both Queensland and the Wallabies. He played 39 Tests, 19 of those as the Australian captain in the early 80s. His 133 appearances for Queensland between 1975 and 1987 stood as the Queensland record until bettered by Mark Connors in 2006. Mr Slack was also the captain for the Wallabies' historic 1984 tour Grand Slam and led the side to Bledisloe Cup victory and a World Cup semi-final. Following his playing career, Slack spent three years as a national selector for the Wallabies before he relinquished that role to coach the Queensland Reds in season 2003. He is the Sports Editor for Nine News Brisbane and also a Rugby Columnist for the Sunday Mail.


All News