Rugby: Trimmed-down Otago union on the hunt for manager

ORFU chairman Wayne Graham (left) and NZRU chief executive Steve Tew break the news to supporters...
ORFU chairman Wayne Graham (left) and NZRU chief executive Steve Tew break the news to supporters and officials. Photos by Linda Robertson and ODT files.
A rugby manager is being sought by the Otago Rugby Football Union as the union streamlines its staff to almost a third of what it employed five years ago.

The union is advertising two jobs tomorrow and also looking to fill two other positions to complete a staff restructuring which chairman Wayne Graham said was an attempt to focus back on rugby.

The union is also set to move to the new Forsyth Barr stadium as a base for staff and players.

The union indicated last month it was reorganising staffing structures which may lead to redundancies.

Graham said the union was advertising for a rugby manager and for a person to work in a sales and marketing position.

There were also two other positions to fill in finance and sales administration.

He said current staff were welcome to apply for the positions. Community rugby positions and other rugby-related positions were not affected at this stage.

Union general manager Richard Reid had announced his resignation last week while another office member had left.

Union commercial manager Mike Kerr was working for the Highlanders on a three-month contract which may be extended.

The rugby manager position was a new one and Graham said he was expecting plenty of interest.

"Richard's [Richard Reid] role reached far and wide, and he had looked after the Highlanders and we had the ground [Carisbrook]. But now we don't have that so we don't need that anymore. We want to focus on rugby," Graham said.

He said if current staff were successful in getting the new positions there may not be any redundancies.

The rugby manager position would oversee the game from the senior Otago side down to children.

Graham said it was an exciting role.

"I would hope that we would get some high-calibre candidates. We want to see who is out there in the market place.

It may not necessarily be a rugby person but someone who can understand the game. I think it will be an attractive challenge to a lot of people."

The rugby manager would not coach teams but would liaise with coaches, and be a part of player recruitment. He would also look at the staffing levels of rugby-related positions when he starts.

With the changes the union would have just 14 staff on its books. In 2006 at its peak it had 36.

Graham said with the union no longer a ground owner and no longer involved with the Highlanders, staff could be more tightly focused on rugby.

Though nothing had been confirmed yet he said it made sense to be housed in the new stadium as that was where the team trained and played.



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