Former Brumbies Chief Executive wins key ARU role



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The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has announced the appointment of Mr Rob Clarke as its Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Mr Clarke will take up the newly created role in early February, reporting to ARU Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Gary Flowers. He was selected from a field of candidates following a thorough executive search process.

Mr Flowers says the former Chief Executive with Brumbies Rugby will make an outstanding contribution to the continued growth of Rugby nationally.

“Rob was a dynamic force at Brumbies Rugby over a three year period making him an ideal candidate for the role. He brings a sharp business mind, a lot of creative energy and a proven track record in Rugby administration to the ARU in an important year for our game.

“The Tooheys New Super 14 kicks off in a month and the Tri Nations Series is expanded in this year’s Bundaberg Rum Rugby Series, so this year represents a another milestone in Rugby’s growth as a major sporting code in Australia.” Mr Flowers said.

“Rugby has now grown to an $80 million plus annual business and we have a raft of business opportunities that we want to pursue vigorously. The time was right for this position and we now have the right person in that role.” he added.

Mr Clarke says Rugby’s second decade of professionalism represents an exciting challenge for him personally and for the code.

“Australia is the toughest sports market in the world but Rugby has a real opportunity. Super 14 will be a winner, the Commonwealth Games will showcase Rugby in March, and we have our strongest Test program in years. The challenge is to consolidate our key markets and build on the growth in Rugby’s developing markets.”

“Being at the heart of the action at a time like this was a significant motivation for me to take up this role with the ARU. There are no reasons why Rugby can’t continue to grow strongly in the next ten years.

“In my time at the Brumbies I have worked very closely with Rugby administrators around Australia and I am looking forward to continuing those relationships and building on the work that we have done.

Mr Clarke will have responsibility for the day to day activities at the ARU withresponsibility for key areas such as High Performance, Community Rugby, Marketingand Rugby Services.

In addition to his experience as Chief Executive of the Brumbies, Mr Clarke draws on a 20-year career in the advertising industry including a three-year appointment with J. Walter Thompson in London and more recently as Chief Executive with global agency Leo Burnett in Australia and New Zealand. He has also held the post of Chairman of the Advertising Federation of Australia.

He will begin his appointment in early February.

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