The Rugby League European Federation has appointed Chris Thair as its new General Manager, taking over from Danny Kazandjian who has become Global Operations Manager for the International Federation.
Thair, aged 41, who will take up his new role on 1st November has a long history in developing rugby league, most recently as CEO and a director of Wales Rugby League.
“After an exhaustive and comprehensive recruitment process, where the standard of applicants was both heartening and exceptional, Chris’s qualities stood out,” said RLEF chairman Maurice Watkins, MBE. “He has been involved in the sport at all levels, from player to development officer through to running a governing body, and he has a clear perception of where the RLEF can make maximum impact in the years ahead.”
“I am very grateful to Wales Rugby League for facilitating Chris’ move across,” Watkins continued. “I look forward to working with him in what is shaping up to be a very exciting and progressive time for the sport in the northern hemisphere, not least with a World Cup on the horizon in 2021.”
St Helens-born Chris Thair, a graduate of Loughborough University, captained Great Britain and England Students and has been a Development Manager in London and the North West. He also worked for the Rugby Football League in community partnerships, club support and salary cap and licensing roles, before moving to Wales Rugby League in April 2013.
“I am very much looking forward to enhancing the great work that has been done at the RLEF in recent times,” said Thair.
“One of the first tasks is to write a new strategy and plan for the organisation. We need to build now upon the growing confidence in the international game, help our member nations’ governing bodies to become stronger, and continue developing the existing international competitions along with some new properties, which will be at the heart of it.”
“I am extremely grateful to Wales Rugby League for the support they have given me,” he said in concluding. “There is a solid platform established now for us all build upon and I have every confidence that the RLEF can take more major steps forward.
“I am excited about what the future will bring.”