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NRL Head of Football Brian Canavan has accepted an offer to join the Newcastle Knights as Director of Football.

CEO Todd Greenberg announced the move today as part of a series of changes to his management team.

Mr Greenberg said Mr Canavan had played a key role in setting up the new pathways programs and had overseen the first increase in participation in Rugby League for several years.

He was also responsible for setting up the first NRL Holden Women’s Premiership, which has already been an overwhelming success.

“These achievements have set the game up for success well into the future,” Mr Greenberg said. 

“So we thank Brian for his service and contribution to the game which will continue in his new role at the Knights.”

Mr Canavan said he had enjoyed the challenges at the NRL but he was excited at the prospect of linking with the Knights.

“The Knights are on the cusp of something special,” he said.

“The club is now financially secure, it is well run and the team is building into a strong contender. 

“It is now well positioned to regain its standing as a regional rugby league and sporting powerhouse.”

Mr Greenberg said Luke Ellis would take the role of Head of Game Development, Participation and Pathways.

He said Luke had played a key role in this area and would now step up to the top role.

Mr Greenberg also announced that Alex Alderson has been appointed Chief Digital Officer, replacing Rebekah Horne, who has accepted a role with a major international company.

Alex played a key role in designing and setting up NRL Digital and will transition seamlessly into the role in November. 

Mr Greenberg said that, in another appointment, Dom Romeo would head up technology operations across the business.

“It is worth noting that Alex, Luke and Dom have all been appointed from within the business which not only shows the depth of talent at the NRL, but ensures they will be able to move into the new roles seamlessly from day one.”