Annesley takes up senior NRL role

The NRL has announced some new appointments in senior positions in the organisation, with Graham Annesley having been appointed NRL Head of Football – Elite Programs, taking up the role on November 1st.

Annesley, a former first grade referee who controlled 244 first grade games is a former NRL Chief Operating Officer and he has been CEO of the Gold Coast Titans for the last five years.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said Annesley was the ideal person to take on the new role of running elite football programmes next season.

“It has become clear this year that the Head of Football role needs to be split into two areas – elite and participation programmes,” said Greenberg.

“Brian Canavan will continue to oversee the participation and pathways programmes which are crucial to the future of the game.

“Graham will take on all aspects of the elite competition – from running the Premiership to overseeing match officials and rule changes.

“It means we will have someone with enormous experience in the game – from refereeing at the top level to running a club – focused solely on the Telstra Premiership.”

Annesley is looking forward to his new role.

“The game is already in great shape… in fact Rugby League is one of the few sports which has seen a lift in both crowds and ratings this year,” he said.

“But I have no doubt it can be even better for players and fans and that will be my focus from November 1.”

Annesley believes the Titans will prosper in future, despite his departure.

“The Titans now have committed local ownership, financial sustainability, professional management, some of the best facilities in the competition, and a team capable of becoming a real force in the game,” he said.

Greenberg also announced that the NRL Chief Digital Officer, Rebekah Horne has agreed to take up a senior role for a major international company after having been responsible for setting up the new and club websites as part of the NRL’s digital transformation.

Greenberg said he would announce her replacement in the role soon.