Rugby League


New chief must give us say: Furner

The Canberra Raiders have urged the NRL to ensure regional clubs continue to have a voice when it considers who will replace departed chief executive David Gallop.

Canberra boss Don Furner declared the Raiders' input into the game's operations was at its highest during Gallop's 10-year tenure.

Furner said his predecessors were often guilty of being too Sydney-centric, and ignoring the needs of the likes of Canberra, North Queensland and Newcastle.

''He was always happy to take everybody's views and was very open. That was his style and I think we had more input than we ever had before,'' Furner said.

''Certainly previous regimes were not as open and there was a feeling within the outer Sydney clubs that you weren't even heard, which probably led to the Super League war.

''He equally gave as much time to Canberra and the Warriors and North Queensland as he did to the Roosters.


''It's a very, very hard job and to do it for 10 years shows you how well he was going, and how well he was respected.''

Furner believes it is essential Gallop's replacement knows the game back to front, rather than a sports administrator with little previous interest in rugby league.

''I think you have to know the sport. There's a lot of [Australian Rugby League] commissioners that don't know the sport that well, it would be pretty hard if the CEO didn't know the sport either,'' he said.

''There's a lot of corporate knowledge and history of the game [you need to be across], for instance you've got to know what SG Ball is and why that competition's so important.''

Furner is confident Gallop's departure won't affect the club's ability to highlight issues it feels need to be addressed.

The Raiders will continue to press for concessions for youngsters clubs nurture into first-graders.