20 Feb 2024


International Rugby League Chair Troy Grant has welcomed the appointment of former Australian captain and NSW State of Origin coach Laurie Daley to the IRL Board as an Independent Director.

Daley will replace New Zealander Greg Barclay, who is Chair of the International Cricket Council, as a Southern Hemisphere-based independent director.

“Laurie is someone whose name is synonymous with rugby league around the world,” Grant said.

“He brings exceptional playing, coaching, administrative and grassroots perspective to the board. A lot of our nations are start-ups, in a way, and he will bring a wealth of experience and insights to help us with future capacity building for nations.

“Laurie has great integrity, and I couldn’t be more pleased to have him on the board. He is not only an elite talent but an elite human, as well. We have known each other for years and I am looking forward to working closely with Laurie.”


Laurie Daley announces the 2020 Kangaroos Merit Team (NRL Photos)

The 54-year-old played 21 internationals for the Kangaroos and five for the Australian Super League team during in an illustrious career from 1987 to 2000.

He captained the Canberra Raiders, NSW Blues and Australia.

Daley later forged a successful representative coaching career, taking charge of the Indigenous All Stars from 2011 to 2022 and the NSW State of Origin team for five seasons from 2013 to 2017.

He is also a long time co-host of the popular Big Sports Breakfast radio program in Sydney.

“Laurie will be a massive asset for International Rugby League as we venture into a commercial strategy, with the employment of a commercial manager,” Grant said.

Daley has retained a close association with his junior club, Junee Diesels, where he played first grade at 15-years-of-age.

Achieving almost all the game has to offer, Daley has transitioned from teenage whiz kid to senior statesman and his experience of grass roots rugby league will be beneficial to emerging nations around the world.


Laurie Daley in action in the 1992 World Cup (NRL Photos)

“It is a great honour to be involved in helping to develop the international game,” Daley said. “We want to try to get as many people and as many countries as possible playing the game.

“I will bring a different perspective and hopefully with my skillset I can add something to an already very knowledgeable board. They made some massive changes towards the end of last year.

“From an outsider looking in, it is important to find the right spot for international football and they have found it now at the end of the year.

“For the players it is the ultimate goal to pull on the green and gold, or the jersey of their nation, so that’s the strength of the international game.

“The players all want to represent their nations and we have seen the rise of Tonga and Samoa, and there is a lot of excitement now about Papua New Guinea having a team in the NRL. We have to keep building on that.”

Barclay will stand down after four years on the IRL Board. He was the IRL's first Independent Director and served as Chair for 15 months until March 2021.

With Barclay appointed as ICC Independent Chair in November 2020, he was succeeded by Grant as IRL Chair.

Grant paid tribute to Barclay for his contribution to the IRL.

“Greg was our first independent chair and it was great to work with him,” he said. “We became firm friends, and he was a calm and considered voice. Greg bought his considerable expertise to help point us in the right direction.

“He led us through the onset of COVID and was in charge when we started making the seismic changes to the IRL for a more sustainable future. We thank him for his service and owe him a great deal of gratitude for all he did.”