CEO Blog: NSWRU Board Meeting - August 15/08/2019 The NSW Rugby Union (NSWRU) Board met yesterday as we went through several important issues within our game – from the grassroots to Super Rugby – while we also reflected on what we’ve achieved in the last few months.To start things off, I’d like to provide you with an update on the recruitment work undertaken by NSWRU General Manager of Rugby, Tim Rapp and myself on the recruitment of a Head Coach for the 2020 Vodafone Super Rugby season.The organisation has been extremely proactive in its search for a new coach on a number of fronts, advertising the role publicly, approaching agents (of coaches) and approaching coaches that were of interest.The level of interest in the position across the globe has been extremely promising, and speaks volumes for New South Wales’ standing internationally.The process to date has been thorough, as we cast the net as wide as possible to find the candidate that best fits the characteristics identified by the Performance Committee following Daryl Gibson’s resignation.A key focus for us is someone who has a proven track record of success at the highest level and the ability to manage and develop players – an important element given the wonderful nursery of talent we have here in New South Wales.We’re keen to have the successful candidate into the role by mid-September to allow ample time to prepare for pre-season, fill existing vacancies in our support staff and finalise the playing roster.We’ll keep you informed on our progress in what will be exciting news for our Super Rugby efforts in 2020.While on the topic of Super Rugby, we’re getting closer to the confirmation of our stadium strategy for next season.With the support of the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust during the Sydney Football Stadium redevelopment, we’re excited to be taking our great game across the state and there’s been significant interest from a number of regions to host NSW Waratahs fixtures.It’s expected that locations will be finalised in the coming weeks, as the competition approaches the announcement of its 2020 draw – with a final date for this still to be confirmed.Work on our Centre of Excellence is continuing to progress as we finalise the appointment of a Project Manager following requests for tender, submissions and bid presentations to build a state-of-the-art facility for the NSW Waratahs and community rugby in our state.We’ll be providing a further update on key project milestones once our Project Manager commences work on this landmark project for rugby in New South Wales.Our community team have been working tirelessly over the last few months and many of you would’ve been working with Development Officers within your region as they live our vision to grow the game and support grassroots rugby.School holiday camps were held across New South Wales with almost 500 kids attending clinics in Daceyville, Turramurra, Forbes, Newcastle, Byron Bay, Camden, Coffs Harbour. In conjunction with the Wallaroos second Test against Japan, a ‘girls only’ clinic had more than 60 attendees prior to the match at North Sydney Oval.The demand for our TracTahs program continues to grow with more than 250 boys and girls descending on Daceyville during July. The program is aimed at developing the specific skills required to be a tight five player, with 10 Development Officers and some of our NSW Waratahs coaching an enthusiastic group of forwards.For the second year in a row NSWRU hosted the NSW Schools 16s and 18s Championships at Daceyville. This event provided the opportunity for talent identification in a highly competitive format while further exemplifying the opportunities available to junior players within the state’s pathway.The U16 Junior Regionals and Schools Championships and the U16 NSWRU Invitational also recently took place at Narrabeen which was well attended and supported.As a result of these competition and other talent identification methods, two NSWRU U16 Gen Blue teams were picked to participate at the National Championships in October. The NSWRU Academy staff have also selected U15 and U18 teams to compete at respective national competitions later in the year.Our various state championships saw 150 teams competing across the state, which is an amazing result alongside the growth of our women’s game.We’ve been educating our coaches and match officials across our zones, with 50 courses held across the year attracting more than 1,000 attendees.The NSWRU Positive Rugby Foundation has been busy over recent months, with regional communities embracing the first Get Talkin’ Tour of 2019 – in partnership with batyr – with more than 1,500 people participating in the six-region, two-week tour.With a focus on NSW drought affected Hunter and New England regions, the Tour visited schools and clubs within the rugby strongholds of Terrigal, Newcastle, Maitland, Quirindi, Tamworth and Armidale.Over 1,300 high school students and more than 200 rugby community members from the regions participated in Get Talkin’ Tour activities – a wonderful initiative for our regional and rural communitiesThis is just a snapshot of where we currently find ourselves, with some wonderful programs and initiatives on the horizon and some special events that allow us all to celebrate our love of rugby.It’s a busy time of year for our competition managers as we approach finals right across the grades with Shute Shield finals in full swing, while subbies and juniors get started this weekend.I’d like to wish everyone taking part the very best of luck, finals are always a special time of year in any competition, and I’m looking forward to seeing some cracking games of rugby over the next few weeks.