The US Association of Rugby League (USARL) Inc. has welcomed the looming end of the governance reform process, with interim chairman Drew Slover saying, “I think we’re going to be able to do some really great things with the sport in the coming years.”
The reform process was instigated in October 2021 by the International Rugby League (IRL). It has included consultations with stakeholders across all levels of the game in the United States and analysis of other American national sporting federations.
The IRL says the USARL consented at every step of the way to ensure the process was fully collaborative.
“It has taken longer than we wanted, but I think we’ve got the right people in the right places, and the game is in a better place,” says Slover.
“It will give the right structure to the sport and give opportunities for teams to join and create an environment in which they can grow.
“And this can happen without the distractions that have plagued this sport since I’ve been involved.”
Slover says he sees it as the beginning of a new disruption-free era for rugby league in the US.
“I genuinely think that the people who are involved in the sport now are in it for the right reasons,” he says.
The first members of the new USARL board will be elected at the national governing body’s annual general meeting in January in one of the final steps of the reform process.
The IRL will oversee the constitutive election.
In an official statement issued on Friday, IRL chair Troy Grant said, “The governance reform now has them on the front foot to grow the game stateside.”