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NRL CEO Dave Smith has today given his support to the Cronulla Sharks Board as it implements wide-ranging management changes to provide certainty for players and fans in the 2013 season.

Mr Smith has also released details of a comprehensive support package which will benefit the Cronulla Sharks club, players and supporters.

The NRL support package includes:

•    The appointment of Bruno Cullen, former CEO of the Brisbane Broncos, as Interim Sharks Chief Executive pending the finalisation of terms with the Cronulla Board early next week;

•    A finance specialist to assist in managing the club’s operations;

•    The secondment of an NRL Sponsorship and Marketing Manager to work with existing sponsors, corporate and charity partners;

•    The secondment of an NRL Welfare Officer to provide welfare and education services to players and their families.

“The Board is acting decisively by putting in place management changes at the highest level,” Mr Smith said.

“Our focus is on supporting the club in a way that will give players, supporters and sponsors confidence in the future.”

Mr Smith said the addition of Bruno Cullen to the Sharks’ management team is an important boost to the club’s capabilities.

“Bruno has the skill and track record to successfully help the Board get through this difficult time.

“He is regarded across all sporting codes as one of Australia’s best sports administrators and club leaders.”

Mr Smith also today reiterated that the Sharks would field a team against the Gold Coast Titans this weekend.

“Earlier this week we asked ASADA to provide us with the names of any player it currently has sufficient evidence to request the NRL issue an infraction notice under our anti-doping code.

“The response we received back from ASADA was that its investigation continues and will for a number of weeks.

“ASADA indicated it is not currently in a position to request the NRL to issue any infraction notices. Without an infraction notice, the NRL will not stand down any player.

“Like players and fans, we share the frustrations they are feeling as the ASADA investigation continues. 

“We would like to see a resolution and have today urged ASADA to move as quickly as possible.”

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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