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General Manager Rugby

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The NSW Rugby Union and the Waratahs are one of the leading rugby organisations in the world and are pivotal to the success of rugby in Australia.

The NSW Rugby Union’s vision is to be the leading provincial rugby organisation in the world. To do this the NSW Rugby Union and the Waratahs must develop world class, elite players, coaching staff and facilities across NSW, enticing and retaining talented athletes, from juniors through to Super Rugby.

The NSW Rugby Union aims to be the pride and inspiration of NSW, on and off the field.

Our values

  • Respect
  • Pride
  • Accountability
  • Inclusiveness


The General Manager (GM) Rugby shapes the strategy for the performance of elite players in NSW rugby teams and player pathways.

The position is a key leadership role within NSW Rugby Union and reports into the CEO. Working closely with the CEO and Head Coach to lead Rugby strategy and High-Performance across the Organisation and impacting Rugby right across the State.

The GM Rugby is integral in driving the strategic implementation, growth, development and management of high-performance programs and systems – from the elite youth development through to supporting the senior divisions of rugby in the State of New South Wales. The role will impact and lead across the Pathway for both Men’s and Women’s, Elite Academies, Schools, Community and Grassroots. They will support the Elite Grade for all age groups including the Super Rugby Team.


The Role reports into the CEO and sits alongside the Waratahs Head Coach in leading the High-Performance program for NSW Rugby Union and the NSW Waratahs. The role will work closely with the CEO and Head Coach to establish the behaviours, standards, and protocols that align with the vision of NSW Rugby and support the ambitious goal for the NSW Waratahs.

The GM Rugby will be responsible for developing and implementing performance strategies which drive continuous improvement which leads to on-field success and ultimately ensures the long-term success of the NSW Rugby and our high-performance rugby programs.

The role is also the Secretary for the Board High-Performance Committee (HPC) and attends all HPC meetings.

While the Head Coach will lead the dedicated Waratahs staff, the GM Rugby will lead the Super W and Elite Youth Development programs and Teams.


  • Ensure short- and long-term player positional plans (depth chart) to ensure depth in all positions (players and coaching staff) across the NSW Waratahs.
  • Support the Waratahs coaching staff and management in the identification, recruitment and development of local, national, and international players and assist in delivering on field results in the Super Rugby competition
  • Create and maintain a national/international scouting network.
  • Manage (with the CEO) all communications and relationships with players, their agents, and Rugby AU coaching staff.
  • Develop and implement an integrated and aligned Talent ID program for elite age grade players through to and including Super Rugby and Super W Training Groups
  • Assist the Pathway Coordinator to ensure all coaching and technical advisory roles with all Waratahs age grade representative teams and Super W teams are resourced.
  • Establish and implement a policy to manage playing opportunities for all contracted players across the Shute Shield (and other appropriate competitions)
  • Create and implement a High-Performance Strategy as part of the NSW Strategic Plan, working to align Shute Shield Clubs and Academies in consultation with Rugby AU’s Director, Rugby, and National Head of Talent Management
  • Work with the Player Development Manager to establish retention programmes focussing on holistic player development.
  • Develop and implement a professional development program for high-performance coaches and team management in conjunction with Rugby AU.
  • Leverage NSW Waratahs for commercial advantage – work with management of the Commercial team to identify opportunities and support existing projects.
  • Investigate international rugby opportunities for the team and brand which strengthens the brand and delivers commercial value.


  • Strong experience of delivering in a high pressure and high-profile and high-performance environment.
  • Gravitas and versatility to lead, inspire, and build strong relationships throughout the game.
  • Intimate knowledge of High-Performance sport. Ideally in Rugby Union
  • Expert knowledge and understanding of strategic planning.
  • Vision, creativity, innovation, and the ability to identify solutions to complex problems.
  • Excellent experience and understanding of working with professional sports teams and high-profile sports personalities.
  • Strong knowledge and understanding of rugby union in Australia, the NSW system.
  • Good knowledge and understanding of coaching and coach development.
  • Outstanding strategic leadership and people management skills
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and influencing skills.

For more information on the Behavioural Characteristics required, please download the attached Candidate Brief.

SRI is a boutique global executive search and consulting firm focused on media, content, technology and sport. We work as one partner-led team with staff based in key global markets across eleven offices on four continents. We offer dedicated and specific sector, function and region expertise. Our services include executive search, board assessment, succession planning, salary benchmarking, advising clients on their internal and external hiring strategy, new market entry and multi-vacancy projects.

How to apply

James Curtis
Senior Consultant
m: +61 (0)451 942 070

Diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) is a fundamental priority for SRI. Our philosophy focusses on embedding inclusive behaviours and processes across every element of our business practices, internally and in our work with clients and candidates.

Tagged as: Elite Performance, GM Football, GM Rugby, High Performance, Pathways, Rugby Union