12 Dec 2012

ARU wants CEO appointed by xmas

5:54 am on 12 December 2012

The Australian Rugby Union hope to appoint John O'Neill's successor as chief executive before Christmas, and it wants the successful applicant to have a background in rugby union.

On Monday the ARU streamlined its organisation by adopting an independent governance model to oversee the game, adopting models currently employed by the NRL and AFL.

Chairman Michael Hawker says the next step is to finalise a replacement for O'Neill, who stepped down in October after running rugby for 14 of the past 17 years.

The ARU is in the final interview stage and, after starting with over 50 local and international applicants, has a shortlist of around ten people left.

And unlike the NRL, which unveiled Welsh banker David Smith as its new CEO last month, Hawker says the ARU is keen to have someone with a background in its code.

Hawker says rugby's extensive links in the business community had helped in the search for a person to take on one of the more taxing roles in sport.