Nigel Wood: Rugby Football League chief executive to step down from role

Nigel Wood makes a speech
Nigel Wood is also chairman of the Rugby League International Federation

Nigel Wood is to leave the Rugby Football League in January after a decade as chief executive and 16 years as a board member.

Wood oversaw a successful 2013 World Cup staged in the UK, Ireland and France, and helped secure the return of the competition to England in 2021.

He will continue as chairman of Rugby League World Cup 2021 Ltd.

Chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer will take on the role of RFL chief executive on an interim basis.

Wood, who is also chairman of the Rugby League International Federation, said: "I am an unashamed rugby league fan and can think of no greater honour that be asked to fulfil the role of CEO for the Rugby Football League.

"However, leadership presents many tests, and the greatest of these is to recognise when it is time to step out and this is the right moment to do so.

"I would like to place on record my unreserved thanks to the many excellent colleagues, the clubs and all those that I have worked with throughout the last 16 years and wish them the best of luck for the future."

At domestic level, Wood helped to introduce overseas clubs such as French side Catalans Dragons and Canada's Toronto Wolfpack into the English league structure.

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