Long-serving NSW Rugby Union chairman Roger Davis will step down from his position at the end of the month, opting not to stand for re-election at the upcoming AGM.
Davis, who joined the board 12 years ago and has been chairman since 2012, has been the subject of much criticism recently. While he oversaw the Waratahs’ Super Rugby title in 2014, he has also been at the helm during the side’s slide down the standings in recent years, culminating in a winless Super Rugby AU campaign this season.
The decision to sack coach Rob Penney at the end of March also drew significant fan anger, and it was widely speculated at the time that Davis would stand down at this month’s AGM.
The NSWRU board has selected Tony Crawford to take over as chairman, and he will be formally elected at the May 31 meeting.
“It is an honour to be elected as Chairman at a time when we are going through so many changes at the Waratahs and I see improving the alignment of rugby in NSW, from the grassroots to the professional level as one of our highest priorities,” Crawford said.
Crawford has been a NSWRU director since 2018, and previously had a seven-year stint as a director at Northern Suburbs.
Outgoing chairman Davis said it was the right time for a new chairman.
“A new CEO [Paul Doorn] is in place, the search is underway for a new head coach, we have a young and talented team showing all the signs of a great future ahead of them and our centre of excellence is about to begin construction,” Davis said.
“As Chairman I’ve been able to oversee all of this and other major milestones at NSW Rugby, including the Waratahs making two semi-finals and winning the Super Rugby Championship in 2014, negotiating the merger of the NSW and Waratah boards and securing the financial future of the organisation.
“While rugby has faced some serious headwinds over the last few years, I think at club and state level, NSW is at the beginning of a new and sustained period of success.”