Super Rugby


QRU Media Release: Richard Barker to Step Down as QRU CEO

The Queensland Rugby Union Board today announced that CEO Richard Barker will step down from the role with immediate effect, after Mr Barker informed the Board of his decision.

QRU Chairman Jeff Miller thanked Mr Barker for his two-years in charge at Ballymore and congratulated him on several key achievements.

Mr Miller confirmed that current QRU COO David Hanham will become QRU’s Interim CEO, as the QRU considers a process to identify its next CEO: “Richard and I have been discussing the QRU’s future requirements for a couple of months, given the changes that he has implemented here over the past two years.

“On behalf of the QRU Board, I thank Richard for his significant contribution to the ongoing health of the code in Queensland. We wish Richard and his family the very best in the coming months and years.

“David Hanham will step up as the QRU’s Interim CEO as we begin the process to identify our next CEO,” Mr Miller said.

Mr Barker said: “I thank Damien Frawley, Jeff Miller and the QRU Board for giving me the opportunity to lead the organisation over the last two years. Those who know me well, know there’s a bit going on my life right now aside from Rugby.

“Rugby is incredibly important to people in this state. The organisation has worked hard to ensure that game continues to grow and is enjoyed by all Queenslanders. I acknowledge the wonderful work done by the hardworking staff of the QRU and by the enormous group of volunteers who provide opportunities for girls and boys to play Rugby in this state.

“On the professional rugby side, Brad is leading this young group through his actions and sets standards that this organisation will reap the benefits of in the years to come and I ask that we back him and continue to support him.”

Arguably the biggest decision during Mr Barker’s stewardship was the QRU’s appointment of Brad Thorn as St.George Queensland Reds Head Coach in October 2017 and with that, the resetting of the Reds’ team culture to promote a sustainable winning-mentality.

During Mr Barker’s period in charge, the QRU has worked hard to repair its relationship with its Perpetual Ground Members and 30-Year Members and Mr Barker was central to clarifying arrangements for both of those important QRU stakeholder groups.

Relations with QRU constitutional member clubs and affiliates have also improved with more collaboration between the QRU and the grassroots of the sport over the past two years. In August 2017, the QRU also re-signed the St.George Bank as QRU’s principle naming-rights partner, meaning St.George have been with the QRU for over a decade in one of Australian sports most enduring commercial partnerships.

In March this year, the Queensland Rugby Union Ltd (QRU) reported a modest bottom line profit for the 2017 financial year of $22,263 - an improvement on the 2016 financial year loss of $789,380.

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