NEWCASTLE and Hunter Rugby Union president Paul Coles is confident new general manager Andrew Fairfull has the passion and business skills to take the game forward.
Fairfull was appointed on Friday and will start on January 12.
A well-credentialled coach and corporate heavyweight, Fairfull takes over from Fenton Coull, who has acted in a caretaker role since the sudden resignation of Shelley Youman in September.
Youman held the position for less than four months after the retirement on Coull in April.
“He’s passionate about rugby, is a qualified level-two coach, director and head coach of Eastwood rugby’s colts program and part of the coaching staff for the Junior Gold program,’’ Coles said.
As well as a strong involvement in rugby, Fairfull has extensive experience in senior management roles in business, including with the WH Soul Pattinson group of companies.
‘‘He has exceptional leadership and management skills,’’ Coles said.
‘‘He has been general manager and chief financial controller for a number of companies and brings that expertise.’’
After attending school at Shore, Fairfull completed a commerce degree at the University of Newcastle, played for Wanderers, and represented Hunter at under-19 and under-21 level.
‘‘This role will enable me to combine my love of the game with my experience as a qualified coach, my earlier years as a player and my professional career in business,’’ Fairfull said in a statement.
Fairfull’s appointment comes after the NHRU posted a $66,000 downturn in revenue last season.
Most of the drop – from a $28,445 profit in 2013 to a $37,977 loss – was attributed to fall in sponsorship and advertising, combined with an increase in payroll and final series costs.
‘‘With Andrew’s financial background, we are looking for him to come up with future revenue streams for growth,’’ Coles said.
‘‘Despite the reduction in revenue, the union is in a strong financial position but we are always looking for ways to improve the position. Increasing sponsorship is obviously one.’’
Meanwhile, former premiership-winning player Tony Hogg is back at the helm at University.
Hogg and his brother, Lawrie, who he will again partner, guided the Students to the 2006 grand final, going down to The Waratahs.
They take over from Ben Kinkade and Jason Tate.
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