Rugby League CEO History
Some of the men who have shaped Rugby League in Australia.

Todd Greenberg

Todd Greenberg (born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Rugby League in Australia, a position he has held since taking over from acting CEO John Grant in March 2016. Greenberg is Jewish, and represented Australia in cricket at two editions of theMaccabiah Games, an international multi-sport event for Jewish athletes. Prior to taking over from the previous CEO David Smith, Greenberg was Head of Football for the NRL, taking up the position in 2013. Greenberg joined the NRL club Canterbury Bulldogs in 2001 as Operations and Events Manager. He then left in 2001 to become the General Manager of ANZ Stadium. In 2008 he returned the Bulldogs, taking on the position CEO, a role he held with the Belmore club until 2013.[5] Between 1993 and 1998 Greenberg worked for Cricket NSW as Events & Promotions Manager.Greenberg completed a sports-science degree at the University of New South Wales and a part-time master's degree at University of Technology Sydney.

David Smith

The new CEO of the National Rugby League is a Welshman who grew up in a working class mining town without a background in the game. David Smith is a 44-year-old who has been handed the reins by the Australian Rugby League Commission following the sacking of David Gallop in June. The ARLC's six-month search for Gallop's replacement ended today with the announcement of Smith as the new boss at its headquarters in Sydney. Smith is the chief executive of Lloyds International, which is based in Sydney. He moved to Australia with his young family nine years ago. He was announced as the new boss along with the NRL 2013 season draw. Smith has no background in the game, in fact he played rugby union from the age of six to 40. But he baulked at any suggestion he does not like rugby league. "I love rugby league - I am a fan of rugby league, I am a fan of rugby union and multiple sports," he said. "I watch all sports and really enjoyed the grand final. "For it to be reported I am not a fan is misleading." "I spent six months on a plane this year - I manage businesses across 10 countries and haven't had much time to spend with my family, let alone watch live sport. "But it is a fantastic game. "I think I am the luckiest guy - I have the best job in Australia." Smith said he is confident he is the right man to deal with the highs and lows of rugby league. "In any business, you have your highs and your lows," he said. "And you have your good days and your bad days - and I think often the mark of a chief executive is the way you deal with those things. "I think I have good credentials in terms of being able to deal with those. "This is the best job in Australia and I think you have start with a smiley face, everything else falls into perspective. "I'm looking forward to all the challengers."

David Gallop

David Gallop, (born 1965 in Australia) has been the Chief Executive Officer of the National Rugby League since February 2002. Mr Gallop has also been the Secretary of the Rugby League International Federation since its inception in 1998. David grew up in Canberra and moved to Sydney to attend university in 1984. A law graduate and a former first grade cricketer, David first became involved in Rugby League as Legal Affairs Manager for Super League in 1995. Having previously acted as the NRL’s Director of Legal and Business Affairs, he has been closely involved in all key decisions involving the game since the NRL’s inception in late 1997. Since taking over as Chief Executive, he has seen the game enjoy increased financial stability at club level, closer on-field competition through the effective policing of the salary cap, strong commercial growth and record crowd figures for three years running. He was voted the New South Wales Sports Administrator of the Year in 2002. In 2006 he was voted the Australian Sports Administrator of the year at the Confederation of Australian Sport Awards.

David Moffett

Moffett was born in Doncaster in Yorkshire, England in 1947 and emigrated to Brisbane, Australia in 1963 having spent a large amount of his childhood in Kenya.

Prior to his job at the ARL, he worked as Executive Director of the New South Wales Rugby Union, Chief Executive at the New Zealand Rugby Union. He was Chief Executive at Australia's National Rugby League from 1999 - 2001.

lg_arl.gif (1846 bytes) 1997-1998
Neil Whittaker

Played for Balmain Tigers 1980-82.
In 1997, Neil took over as CEO of the Australian Rugby League just as the rival Super League competition commenced. It was Neil's responsibility to negotiate a settlement with News Limited for a reunited game. The 1997 ARL season was run successfully against all odds under Neil's leadership. The successful negotiation of a settlement with News Limited came late in the 1997 season and Neil was appointed CEO of the National Rugby League (NRL). Before resigning as CEO, Neil successfully rationalised the number of teams for the 2000 competition from 22 to 14. Commonly regarded as an impossible task in such a high profile, traditional and emotional sport, it was achieved through a difficult but fair process. It was a process that required vision and courage for the sake of the longer–term best result for the "game" as a whole.

John Ribot
CEO Super League

John Ribot played club football for the Newtown Jets (in 1978 and 1979), the Western Suburbs Magpies (in 1980 and 1981), the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (in 1982 and 1983), and the Redcliffe Dolphins (in 1984 and 1985). Before the introduction of State of Origin selecton rules Ribot represented both Queensland in 1977, then New South Wales in 1978 to correspond with the state in which he was playing his club football. He went on to represent Queensland in 8 State of Origin matches between 1982 and 1985, the Brisbane representative team in 1984 and Australia from 1981 until 1985, playing in 9 test matches, including the 1982 Invincibles tour.

Leaving his position as the Broncos' Chief Executive, he lead the organisation known as Super League in the war for rugby league in Australia. Ribot partially realised his ‘vision’ in getting the competition up and running in 1997 then resigned as Super League chief executive on June 24. He secured the franchise to form a club in Melbourne for the re-united competition in 1998.

Ken Arthurson
Executive Chairman of the ARL

Played for Manly 1950-52.
His time as Executive Chairman of the ARL was dominated by the Super League War in which Arko led the ARL battle against Murdoch's incursion into the game, The Super League War took its toll on Arko's health and he retired from the ARL in January 1997.

John Quayle
General Manager of NSWRL

Played for East 1968-72 and Parramatta 1973-1976. He was at the forefront of changes that shaped the code including promotion of new clubs to an expanded competition in 1995.


Kevin Humphreys
ARL Chairman

Played for Balmain 1953-56. Kevin oversaw many of the changes that the code experienced during the 1970s and 1980s. Some of these change included sponsorship, the mid-week knockout, the impact of colour TV, Australia's international dominance, the increase in the value of the try from3 to 4 pints, the revising of the judiciary system and the advent of State of Origin football.

Bill Buckley

ARL Chairman

Played for Newtown but his career ended  early when he suffered a broken league in 1928. He became President of the NSWRL and ARL Chairman in 1960. His autocratic but authoritative rule saw the development of the game domestically through new teams (Panthers & Sharks) and Australians dominance at international level.

Harry "Jersey" Flegg

President NSWRL

The name Jersey Flegg is still synonymous with Rugby League. Harry ‘Jersey’ Flegg is the father of the Eastern Suburbs Rugby League team. He played for Easts 1908-1909.

Lancashire born , in 1978, Flegg migrated to Australia and played RU for Easts and NSW before being a prime mover in the formation of the Easts Rugby League Club. Flegg received his nickname after chance meeting with NSW Governor Lord Jersey.

Flegg received his nickname after chance meeting with NSW Governor Lord Jersey who was also red-haired.

Harry "Jersey" Flegg

Chairman of the Australian Board of Control
Fred Flowers
5th Chairman of the Australian Board of Control

Fred was the president of the premier Rugby League club, South Sydney, in 1908-28; as the patron of the New South Wales Rugby Football League in 1910-28, he contributed much to its survival in the difficult early years. In 1924 he became first chairman of the league's Australian Board of Control.

John La Maro
Chairman of the Australian Board of Control

The Australian Rugby League Board of Control (later the Australian Rugby League) was formed in December 1924 to administer the running of the national team. George Ball was the first secretary of the Board and John La Maro the first chairman.

Prior to this time, international rugby league was organised by the NSWRL and the QRL. It was only after this time that the Australian team began to wear the now familiar sporting colours of Green and Gold. During this period it as known as the ARFL, (Australian Rugby Football League).

Sir James John Joynton Smith
President NSWRL

President of the New South Wales Rugby League in 1910-28, he was patron in 1929-43.

In August 1909 Smith financed football matches between the (Rugby Union) Wallaby team and the (Rugby League) Kangaroos; proceeds went to Smith's favourite charity, (Royal) South Sydney Hospital, which he had founded in 1910 and of which he was a director until his death.

James J. Giltinan
Founder NSWRL

James J. Giltinan was an entrepreneur who helped to found the sport of rugby league in Australia and who led the first Kangaroo tour to England in 1908. The founder of the N.S.W. Rugby League, James J. Giltinan, financed the code in its start up years.

Giltinan died in 1950 and the shield was created for the following season in his honour.