Jim Doyle to return home to New Zealand

NRL's Chief Operating Officer Jim Doyle will be returning to New Zealand at the end of the year to become the next Chief Executive Officer of the Warriors.

Mr Doyle said he and his wife were keen to return home to New Zealand to spend more time with his two daughters.

It will be business-as-usual for the NRL with Mr Doyle remaining COO until the end of 2014.

"I have to admit that my wife and I are a little homesick for New Zealand and are missing our time with our daughters who live there," Mr Doyle said.

"When the opportunity arose to join the Warriors as their next CEO, I knew it was the right decision for our family.

"It means we can return home but also stay within the Rugby League community, which is a major part of our lives and the sport that both my wife and I are passionate about."

Mr Doyle, who was CEO of New Zealand Rugby League from August, 2009 to December, 2012, will have been working for the NRL for almost two years when he leaves.

"It was always my intention to return to New Zealand after two to three years, which I made clear to both the Commission and Dave Smith when I joined," he said.

NRL Chief Executive Officer Dave Smith praised Mr Doyle for his significant achievements.

"I cannot praise Jim enough for his contribution to the growth of Rugby League and the important foundations he's helping put in place to ensure this game becomes even healthier, stronger and more professional in the coming years," Mr Smith said.

"Jim has worked side-by-side with me to establish the highly-successfully Integrity Unit and establish proper processes and procedures to manage important whole-of-game issues across a range of areas including ASADA, player behavior, player welfare and education and salary cap.

"Jim has also been a great mate since I joined the NRL and I am particularly pleased that he's staying within the Rugby League family at the Warriors, which is a strong club.

"It is important for the NRL that people of Jim's caliber are part of the game as the NRL drives further changes to club governance and standards in line with being a major sporting administration."

The Head of Integrity & Compliance Unit, Nick Weeks, will continue to report to Mr Doyle.

Mr Smith said he will conduct an external search prior to Mr Doyle's departure to ensure a well-managed succession plan.

"It is business-as-usual for the NRL.  We have a strong management team that is driving success across key areas such as game day attendance and experience, football operations and developing our position on improving stadia."