Brent Impey has today announced he will be resigning in his role as Chairman of SANZAAR – effective 31st December 2020.
Brent has held the role for the last five years but has decided the time is right for a change:
“In my view it is time for SANZAAR to make some fundamental changes which are best placed to happen under an independent chair. While there was no imperative for change it was appropriate to rotate the role, however, I now believe that the role of Chair of a national union as well as Chair of SANZAAR is a conflict for any country.
"I also hold the view that SANZAAR should become membership-based. The four-country consensus model is outdated if we are looking to grow the game commercially and internationally. A membership model would allow the group to act together on issues such as the global calendar, rules, regulations, governance, and mutual commercial interests. Currently, the odds are heavily stacked against SANZAAR in its present form being able to affect change.”
Impey proposed a radical overhaul which could see the creation of a bloc to rival the power of the game’s northern hemisphere giants by expanding beyond current members South Africa, New Zealand, Argentina and Australia.
The New Zealander said potential candidates could include Japan, Romania, Georgia, the Pacific island nations, as well as countries in the Americas such as Uruguay, Brazil and Canada.
“Outside of Europe, there are opportunities to develop the game, so SANZAAR should be welcoming in those countries as members and creating competitions which are going to allow the likes of Japan and Fiji to progress to the next level,” he told reporters.
Brent will continue in his role as Chairman of New Zealand Rugby.