BATHURST’S former Waratahs and Wallabies fullback Marty Roebuck will be one of the leading voices for rugby union in the state after being named president of the merged NSW Rugby board.
At the recent annual general meeting the state’s affiliates voted in favour of bringing the NSW Rugby Union and NSW Waratahs boards back together.
Roebuck was elected to the president’s role at the same meeting, taking over from another former Australian representative Mick Mathers.
The two organisations have been administered as a single unit for the past 16 months but only now have gained a formal endorsement.
“I’ve been vice-president for the last couple of years on the NSW Rugby Union’s community rugby board, as distinct from the Waratahs boards. They’ve recently come together again. I’ve enjoyed that role over the last couple of years,” Roebuck said.
“We think this merger is important from a governance point of view. With the professional side working with the community arm of the game we can achieve common goals.
“Al Baxter moves into the vice-president position and he’s got great enthusiasm and love for the game. I’m looking forward to working with him.
“We want to develop success for the Waratahs, obviously. Their success is extremely important for the game in Australia. In challenging times, we’re also trying to see the game develop at the grassroots level. Getting that balance is difficult in a competitive sporting landscape.
“We also want to see the continued development of the women’s game, which has achieved outstanding success in a short space of time.”
Roebuck has enjoyed a variety of roles among the game of rugby union.
After his playing time came to a close Roebuck took time to coach junior teams and support his children’s own rugby career.
Following that he worked as a physiotherapist for the Waratahs.
“I’m in a position where I’ve got insight from a number of viewpoints that can hopefully allow me to contribute,” Roebuck said.
An encouraging financial sign for Roebuck and the NSW Rugby board is that they recorded a consolidated break-even position at the end of last year.
“We recognise that 2017 was a challenging year for us for a range of reasons but it was encouraging to report a stable financial position at our AGM,” CEO Andrew Hore said in a statement.
“This also underlines our commitment to continue to make rugby the sport of choice for men and women, and girls and boys in our State.”