The National Rugby League has today made two key appointments for 2011 with long serving Football Operations employee and Judiciary Secretary, Nathan McGuirk taking charge of Football Operations, and former Parramatta General Manager, Coaching and Development Manager, Coach and Player, Andrew Hill returning to Rugby League  to join the NRL as Director, League Integration and Game Development.

Mr McGuirk will take over the Director of Football Operations role which was previously incorporated into the position of NRL Chief Operating Officer and held by Mr Graham Annesley.

Thirty-five-year-old Nathan has been working in Rugby League since joining the NSWRL in 1994 and in that time has worked in football operations, game day operations, strategic planning and for the last six years has also been NRL judiciary secretary.

The appointment of Andrew Hill signals an important step towards the NRL Commission as the integration of the various Leagues takes place.

Mr Hill played for the Eels in the early nineties and has been involved in Western Sydney Rugby League for most of his working life. The thirty-seven-year old was one of the first people targeted by the AFL in its bid to establish a base in the Western Sydney area. 

He will assist in coordinating the needs of the wider game and reporting to the NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop.

“It is very much a first step towards what will be the integration of a number of areas in the future,” Mr Gallop said.

“Andrew has extensive experience at the grass roots, at the NRL and knows Western Sydney as well as anyone. I’m delighted to welcome him back to Rugby League and I am happy also to see Nathan rewarded for having devoted his professional career to the game.

“Nathan has played an increasingly important role in football operations and judiciary and thoroughly deserves the role.

“No doubt when the Commission is in place there will be a review of the best ways to make the most of the resources across the game.

“The addition of two young and enthusiastic people each with a solid background in Rugby League will be a valuable addition to the NRL Management team.

“The departure of such an experienced Chief Operating Officer in Graham Annesley may also provide the opportunity for further change, but that will be best addressed once the Commission is in place.”