The Rugby League Players’ Association (RLPA) has announced Clint Newton will become the organisations’ new chief executive officer.
Newton has spent the past four years in the role of general manager of player and football operations as part of the RLPA and has replaced Ian Prendergast in the lead role, after Prendergast held the title for four and a half years.
Newton, the former Newcastle, Melbourne, Penrith and Hull KR forward, said he is honoured to be the new CEO, after being named a life member of the RLPA in 2019.
“It’s a great honour to be appointed CEO of the Rugby League Players’ Association,” Newton said.
“Being presented with an opportunity to advance the game by representing players means a significant amount to me and providing the male and female players with a strong and respected voice is my priority.
“For the game to be the best it can be and reach its potential, players will always need to be involved upfront in decisions that impact them, and we must continue working together with all the major stakeholders on a journey with shared objectives.
“On behalf of our staff and the entire playing group, I would like to thank Ian [Prendergast], not only for what he has done for the Association and our members, but the role he has played in my development as a leader and understanding the responsibilities that come with this position.
“His contribution to the game will never be forgotten and I look forward to advancing on the robust platform that the RLPA team has established in recent years.
“While this appointment is pleasing for me on a personal level, the gravity of the situation that the game is currently facing is significant [the suspension of the 2020 NRL season due to concerns over COVID-19 (Coronavirus)], but the RLPA team is steadfast with their commitment to help navigate the players through these difficult times.
“We will get through this together,” he said.
Departing RLPA CEO, Ian Prendergast, said the appointment of Newton ensures the success of the RLPA going forward.
“I can’t think of anyone more worthy of leading the Association,” Prendergast said.
“It has been an absolute privilege to work with Clint during my time at the RLPA.
“We couldn’t have achieved what we have in recent years without Clint’s passion and values-based connection with industry stakeholders helping drive the approach.
“I have every confidence that Clint’s understanding of how the RLPA can have a positive influence and properly represent its members will ensure he is a successful leader of the Association,” he said.
Newton was also heavily involved in the RLPA throughout his NRL career, which is highlighted by his election as General President in 2013, and his leading role in negotiating the 2013-17 Collective Bargaining Agreement, including organising players to play an active part in that process.