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Former Vodafone Warriors utility and Kiwi international Motu Tony has been appointed the new independent director on the New Zealand Rugby League board.

Tony, Vodafone Warrior #90 and Kiwi #686, replaces John Bishop who retires after eight years on the board.

Tony brings almost 20 years’ experience in professional sport to the role. His playing career included 13 Tests for the Kiwis from 2001-2006, including the 2005 Tri Nations title win. He made 55 appearances (23 tries) for the Vodafone Warriors from 2001-2003 and three games for Brisbane in 2004 before playing more than 120 games in total for Hull FC, Castleford and Wakefield in the English Super League.

He has recently gained board experience with Baseball New Zealand, the New Zealand Rugby Union ‘Navigating Two Worlds’ advisory panel, the Rugby Football League disciplinary review panel committee and Hull FC Super League Limited to name a few. In addition, he is currently Baseball New Zealand’s acting chief executive following a successful tenure as Hull FC’s general manager of football operations.

Tony led Hull FC’s high performance programme, which included the responsibilities of recruiting and retaining both players and staff, as well as the financial management of a live salary cap. He left Hull FC in 2017 to return to New Zealand after the club had won consecutive Challenge Cups (2016 and 2017) and re-established itself as one of the premier clubs in the Super League.

NZRL chairman Reon Edwards said the board was pleased to have someone of Tony’s high-performance expertise.

“Following the Castle review, it was imperative that we took on board the recommendation to make appointments that inject more high-performance knowledge into our organisation,” he said.

“As a proven sports leader, administrator and director with almost 20 years’ experience in professional sport as both an athlete and administrator, Motu more than fits the bill.

“We anticipate Motu will provide real value as we look to review the draft strategic plan with the help of the newly-appointed CEO Greg Peters.”



Board experience:

2018 | Present Baseball New Zealand
2018 | Present New Zealand Rugby Union ‘Navigating Two Worlds’ advisory panel
2017 | Rugby Football League disciplinary review panel committee
2017 | Hull Rugby League participation committee
2016-2017 | City of Hull Rugby League academy board of directors
2014 -2017 | Hull Super League Limited board of directors

Other roles:

2018 | Interim chief executive officer, Baseball New Zealand
2013-2017 | General manager of football operations, Hull FC Super League Limited

Playing career:

2001-2006 | New Zealand Kiwis
    13 Tests
    2005 Tri Nations winner (24-0 v Australia)
    2006 Tri Nations finalist
2001-2003 | Vodafone Warriors
    55 appearances
    23 tries
    2002 NRL grand finalist
2004 | Brisbane Broncos
    3 appearances
    2 tries
2004 | Castleford Tigers
    9 appearances
    1 try
2005-2010 | Hull FC
    105 appearances
    29 tries
2011-2012 | Wakefield Wildcats
    10 appearances
    1 try


Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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