Senior executive to leave RFL

DAVE ROTHERAM will next week end more than two decades of work with the Rugby Football League when he stands down as the governing body’s Chief On-Field Officer.

Rotheram, who was a schoolteacher in London when he played in the capital for Fulham, Crusaders and Broncos in the early 1990s, has made the decision to return to education.

He joined the RFL as National Player Development Manager in 2009, after a range of coaching experience with Scotland, London, Whitehaven, Workington and St Helens – and has been Chief On-Field Officer since March 2020. Before 2009, he had been a regular figure on National Talent Camps from the late 1990s, and coached England Schools in 2002 and 2003.

The RFL has begun the process of recruiting a new Director of Talent and Performance, to provide vision, leadership and direction to the three programmes of the England Performance Unit – Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair – with the position to be advertised next week.

Tony Sutton, the RFL’s Chief Executive, said: “On behalf of my RFL colleagues and the wider sport, I thank and congratulate Dave Rotheram for the significant contribution he has made.

“He is a popular and respected figure throughout Rugby League, having gained such extensive playing and coaching experience at a number of clubs before he joined the RFL.

“He played a leading role in the evolution of the Rugby League Talent and Performance system and led the three England Teams at the 2022 World Cup. He also obtained a Doctorate in Elite Performance bringing new knowledge back into the sport, and in his role as Chief On-Field Officer he has been a key figure in steering the sport through the unique challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, and in introducing the important law changes designed to make the sport safer in response to developments in scientific and medical knowledge.

“He has done all this with affability and good humour – and it has been lovely for us to observe his pride at the part his daughter, Rebecca, has played in the development of Women’s Rugby League in recent years as a member of the St Helens squad.”

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