Shane Richardson (right) is leaving his role as CEO of South Sydney.

Shane Richardson leaving the NRL

The NRL announced on Thursday that its Head of Game Strategy and Development, Shane Richardson is leaving the NRL.

Mr Richardson will take on a new role as General Manager of Football at South Sydney.

He joined the NRL in 2015 to draw up a blueprint for the game's future with a special focus on developing a strategy for elite pathways.

Mr Richardson has completed the strategy, which includes the creation of a new Platinum League.  It has been endorsed by the ARL Commission, giving him an opportunity to move into the new role at Souths.

ARLC Chairman, John Grant said Shane's contribution had been critical in defining the future of the game's elite pathways.

"He has completed the strategy and has been offered a long term role at Souths so this is the logical time to make the change," he said.

"His experience at the NRL has given him a unique insight into the game that he did not have before and he leaves on the best of terms."

Mr Richardson said he had built up enormous respect for the team working at the NRL over the last year.

He said the team at the NRL worked long and hard to improve the game and he had every confidence that his blueprint would be implemented.

"I really enjoyed the experience of working at NRL headquarters but this new role – and its direct involvement with the players and the game – is what I want to do next in life," he said.

"I am looking forward to moving from a strategic role back to the coal face."

NRL Head of Football, Todd Greenberg said he was looking forward to implementing the elite pathways recommendations.

"These recommendations have the potential to make a real difference to our game by providing better pathways from grassroots through to the elite level," Mr Greenberg said.

"I will be sitting down with the clubs and States to look at the best way of implementing the reforms which will have genuine benefits for the game."

The NRL and South Sydney will work on a transition plan over the next 60 days.