RFL chief executive Nigel Wood is in line to become the new Chairman of the Rugby League International Federation, when its executive meets in Sydney this weekend.
The meeting will coincide with Test Matches between Australia and New Zealand, and Fiji and Samoa.
The position has become vacant because the RLIF’s current Chairman, Scott Carter, who is also the Chairman of the New Zealand Rugby League, recently announced his intention to step down.
Wood has been nominated by the board of the Rugby League European Federation, and League Express understands he has the support of the Australian members of the RLIF, which makes his accession to the Chairmanship of that body a formality.
The ten directors of the RLIF are John Grant, Dave Smith (both Australia), Nigel Wood, Maurice Watkins (both RFL), Scott Carter, John Bishop (both New Zealand), Carlos Zalduendo, Graeme Thompson (both RL European Federation), Charles Carlson (Cook Islands) and Su’a Tagaloa-Faafouina (Samoa), who are both members of the Asia Pacific Rugby League Federation.
Apart from being the chief executive of the RFL, Wood, who flies out to Australia today (Monday) is also the chief executive of Super League (Europe), and he was the Tournament Director of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
If he becomes the new RLIF Chairman he will have a key role in organising the next World Cup, which will take place in Australia and New Zealand in 2017.
One of his first jobs, however, will be to set up a permanent RLIF office, which will be funded by profits from the 2013 World Cup and will almost certainly be established in Sydney.
The RLIF is then likely to begin a search for a new chief executive to run and develop the international game.
Meanwhile the European Federation’s is waiting for confirmation from the RLIF of the funding arrangements before it can release the fixture schedule for this season’s European Championship.
France, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are due to participate, with the winner qualifying for the 2016 Four Nations tournament, which will be staged in the Northern Hemisphere.