Following its first meeting of 2021 the SANZAAR Executive Committee (Exco) has announced the appointment of Marcelo Rodriguez of the Argentina Rugby Union (UAR) as its Chairman. Furthermore, SANZAAR has appointed Brendan Morris, currently the Chief Operating Officer, as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Marcelo Rodriguez is the current President of the Argentina Rugby Union and he will take the reins of the SANZAAR Exco for the next 12 months. Following the resignation of the previous Chair, Brent Impey (New Zealand Rugby), SANZAAR determined, given the current environment, that the Chairmanship, for now, will be on a one-year rotation among the joint-venture stakeholder national unions.
Following the meeting, new Chairman Marcelo Rodriguez stated, “I would like to deeply thank the unions of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, our partners in SANZAAR, for this recognition. It highlights that as a group we are committed to working together for the benefit of all our national unions, and in the continued pursuit of the growth of our sport globally.”
“This appointment as SANZAAR Chairman stands as strong recognition of the UAR and Argentine rugby. Indeed, in recent times we have seen Argentina rugby grow stronger and produce some great performances and this appointment is a clear demonstration of the respect and international prestige achieved by Argentinean rugby all over the world.”
Brendan Morris replaces outgoing CEO Andy Marinos who had been at SANZAAR for five years before his recent appointment as CEO of Rugby Australia. The appointment, that takes effect on 1 February, ensures a smooth transition within the management team at SANZAAR as Morris has an integral knowledge of the organisation and the tournaments it manages following nine years at head office.
With a strong operational background in the sport of rugby, he brings club and national union administration and team management experience to the role having held senior positions prior to SANZAAR with the Queensland Reds, the Wallabies and Rugby Australia. In 2019 he was a World Rugby appointed match commissioner at the Rugby World Cup in Japan and he has also worked at several Olympic Games.
Commenting on his new role Morris stated, “I am delighted to step into the role of CEO at the organisation and continue to work with the very dedicated and talented people we have in the sport. Of course, rugby and sport in general face many challenges due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic. That said I believe SANZAAR is in a strong position to move forward given the work already done to reformat our competitions and to streamline our cross-border operations.”
“The aim now is to consolidate what Super Rugby will look like in the future, continue to work with World Rugby on a global rugby calendar that is fit for purpose in today’s sporting environment and to continue the success of The Rugby Championship that is the flagship of SANZAAR and one of the major drivers to our National Unions’ success at Rugby World Cup.”