Super Rugby


Bill Ross appointed Vintage Reds CEO

The Vintage Reds have appointed former Wallaby Bill Ross OAM as CEO to drive a new Queensland Rugby Union (QRU)-endorsed strategy to engage with - and to assist - Rugby at all levels throughout the state.

Bill Ross, QRU No. 901 & Wallaby No. 603, played 13 tests as hooker between 1979-1983 and won 50 caps for Queensland between 1976-1983.

Following his playing career, he was the Queensland Team Manager between 1996-1998, served as a QRU selector between 2003-2006 and was the QRU Vice President from 2010 to 2018.

In addition, he was a Classic Wallabies Board member from 1995 to 2018 and has been a Board member of the Australian Schools Rugby Union Foundation since 2000.

Bill Ross said: “We are delighted to involve our extensive and willing Vintage Reds (VRs) alumni as a supporting resource for the QRU. The VRs will engage in many annual events and specifically connect with the broader rugby community, including our schools and clubs, particularly in the regional Queensland through regular visits. This we believe will create increased positivity in the game of Rugby throughout the State.

“As an example of our future work, our initial Regional visit will be to Toowoomba on February 9 where we will have a Community function preceded by a ‘Coach the Coaches and Match Officials Day’, which will also involve skills and game sessions with the local rugby playing children and juniors.”

QRU CEO David Hanham said: “The QRU is pleased to have someone of Bill’s experience to harness the unique qualities of this special group of Queensland’s former players for the benefit of the entire Queensland Rugby community.

“Bill was part of the collective that named the group the Vintage Reds over a decade ago, and QRU is pleased to be able to work with him and the new committee as the VRs are reinvigorated and prepare to deliver their strategy, shoulder to shoulder with the QRU staff and our Board.”

Decorated former Wallaby Paul McLean will be the Vintage Reds Chairman with Dan Crowley, David Codey, Shirley Russell (a former Wallaroo who was an original member of the Queensland Women’s XV), Roger Gould, Mark Stanton (QRU Director), and John Greig assisting as part a new committee overseeing the delivery of VR initiatives.

Bill Ross will report into QRU’s CEO David Hanham to ensure the VR initiatives and outcomes continue to align with the QRU’s future strategy.

The new Vintage Reds strategy includes the following initiatives:

- Utilise the vast network of Vintage Reds, grow public recognition of the Brand and unite the VRs as Ambassadors and a supportive voice for the QRU & the St.George Queensland Reds.
- To appoint VR Ambassadors to drive participation, in collaboration with QRU, in each of our regional areas and appoint regional VR representatives to act as local liaisons.
- To support the broader rugby community including schools and clubs across the state.
- To organise regular events including sporting lunches, corporate events, events remembering important moments within the rich history of Rugby in Queensland.
- To hold community clinics with VRs and current players and to incorporate events in the communities and support local charities.
- Support the QRU through sharing resources by mutually fostering and developing Rugby Union throughout all of Queensland.
- Support and counsel the farmers and wider community in rural Queensland communities through issues associated with years of drought.
- To work with Indigenous and Pacific Islander communities and Elders within those communities to mentor individuals and groups.
- To engage with the St.George Queensland Reds and other QRU representative teams at Training and QRU events.
- The organisation of pastoral participation and engagement with elderly VRs in the community, as a welfare activity
- Participate with Reds supporters and QRU partners in VR events on Reds Match days.

Vintage Reds Chairman Paul McLean said: “Volunteering is the foundation of game, so what Bill will be endeavouring to do, is to harness the time, energy, and knowledge of those past Queensland players and officials, to support the game in all its facets, throughout the State. We know those Vintage Reds want to help wherever they can, so they will be hearing from Bill very soon.”

Eleven regional visits have already been provisionally diarised for 2019, along with three major events, which include a significant VR luncheon to be held before Queensland’s game against historical rival New South Wales in Brisbane in May.

The luncheon’s focus will be on the 40th anniversary of Queensland’s famous 48-10 victory against New South Wales in 1979, as well as the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the passing of legendary Queensland coach Bob Templeton.

Such was Templeton’s standing in Australian Rugby Union that Queensland and New South Wales play for the Bob Templeton Cup whenever they meet.

Rugby Traveller