New RFL chief to be decided by end of July, insists interim boss Ralph Rimmer

The identity of the next CEO of the Rugby Football League is likely to be determined by the end of July.

That’s according to one of the men in the race to permanently succeed Nigel Wood, the current interim chief Ralph Rimmer.

Rimmer told League Express he is aware there is stringent competition for the role, but is confident the work he has done during his five months in interim charge will hopefully stand him in good stead.

He said: “I imagine a decision will be around late July. The relevant people will run a very fair race and I know there is some stiff competition – as there should be, because we’re one of the big five sports in this country.

“I’ve kept away from the process apart from my own interview itself, but I’d like to think I’ve got a few runs on the board, in all honesty. I think we’ve covered a lot of ground in six months – the move to the Etihad Campus underpins that.

“It’s an outstanding piece of work for the sport to undertake and, when you tie it in with the growth of the England Performance Unit, it’s clear some significant strides have been taken forward.”

Rimmer again met with the Hearns last week to continue the talks about them potentially getting involved in the promotion of Rugby League in this country: and he indicated that talks are progressing well.

“They’ve been great to deal with,” he said.

“Barry and Eddie both like the sport and admire a lot about it, and for two guys who are supremely busy dealing with so many things, they’re always available to bounce ideas off and have a chat with – wherever in the world they are.

“The conversations we’ve had with them have been fantastic; they’ve been really supportive and if something more serious comes from it, then that’ll be fantastic for everyone involved.”

Meanwhile, Rimmer has also indicated the plan is for England’s mid-season Test with New Zealand in 2019 to return to the United States, following on from next month’s match in Denver.

He said: “The schedule calls for a return to Denver but we will see after this year’s game how the land lies and how it’s gone.”