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ARL Commission election faces fresh challenge

Gold Coast Titans' new ownership

The constitutional reform the NRL clubs fought so hard to gain could be at risk after the candidate most favoured to join the ARL Commission accepted a job with the Gold Coast Titans.

The decision of former Broncos chairman Dennis Watt to overlook a potential role on the ARL Commission in favour of the Titans executive chairman position has thrown a spanner into the works.

It has the potential to divide the clubs as they seek to agree on two club-appointed directors to the commission.

Watt was the candidate with the most support from the clubs to represent them on the commission, however his withdrawal a month out from nomination day leaves the clubs scratching for options. understands some clubs will be reluctant to vote in favour of the constitutional reform they recently agreed upon if they aren’t convinced the right candidates have been put forward.

Racing NSW boss Peter V’landys is the other frontrunner for the two club-appointed roles to join the two state-appointed directors on a new-look commission that needs to be voted in at the February annual general meeting.

The NSWRL and Queensland Rugby League and 15 of the 16 NRL clubs need to agree to enforce the constitutional reform at the AGM.

Before that, the clubs must put forward all commissioner nominations to South Sydney Rabbitohs chairman Nick Pappas by January 19.

A minimum of 10 clubs must agree on the candidate before they are voted on to one of two club-appointed commissioner roles.

There has been a push by some clubs for Pappas, who has been entrusted with the task of collating candidates, to join the commission however it is understood he is intent on continuing with the Rabbitohs.

Bruce Hatcher and George Peponis, the respective chairs of the QRL and NSWRL, will be the two state-affiliated directors on the new 10-member commission to be set up once the constitutional reform is signed off.

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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