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Tony Giles to lead Wellington Rugby

Wellington Rugby Football Union (WRFU) are pleased to announce the appointment of Tony Giles as new their CEO, with the highly experienced sports administrator set to begin on 7 November.

Since 2013, Tony has led Softball New Zealand (SNZ) as their Chief Executive and under his leadership the organisation has developed a strong fiscal position, generating in excess of $12 million in commercial revenue.

SNZ has also hosted successful world class international events, including the 2022 WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup at Rosedale Park.

WRFU Chair Russell Poole said he is delighted with the appointment, which follows a comprehensive recruitment process.

“Tony is a highly respected member of New Zealand’s sporting community and brings with him a wealth of experience in both community and high-performance sport. Despite the current challenges in running a national sports organisation, he has successfully established a strong financial position and generated significant revenue within a difficult commercial environment.

“We are confident he has the leadership qualities and commercial skills to grow the WRFU brand. We are looking forward to working with Tony as we strengthen the Union’s support for our communities and continue to grow active participation and enjoyment for our game here in Wellington.”

Tony said he is excited about the prospect of applying his broad experience to a game he is extremely passionate about.

“I am immensely proud and honoured to take up the role as Chief Executive of Wellington Rugby Football Union, and to lead an organisation that is at a really exciting stage in its journey,” he said.

“With solid on-field performances across both our male and female rep teams, considerable talent within the organisation, and a Board of Directors that has ambitious goals for the next few years, it is set to be a pivotal period in the growth of the sport.

“I am also well aware of the challenges that the organisation is facing off-field. Working with our members and partners, we will continue with our mission to grow and support our rugby whānau, while attracting and engaging with our audience to foster and support capability throughout our network, which remains at the centre of our strategy.”

Giles himself played representative age group rugby in Hawke’s Bay, before continuing his playing career in Ireland and Italy. These days he can be found on the sidelines watching his two daughters who are keen junior players.

Shannon Paku will continue as interim CEO until the handover is completed in November.

“I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Shannon who has done a sterling job in leading the organisation for the last seven months under challenging circumstances. We are extremely grateful for his dedication and commitment in ensuring the Union has remained on track this season,” Russell said.