Rugby Southland on search for new general manager –

Brian Hopley has resigned as Rugby Southland general manager and will finish up in the new year.

Robyn Edie

Brian Hopley has resigned as Rugby Southland general manager and will finish up in the new year.

Rugby Southland is on the search for a new general manager.

Brian Hopley resigned from the role this week but will remain in the position through to early in the new year as the Rugby Southland board now search for a replacement.

Rugby Southland board chairman Bernie McKone said a timeframe had not been set out in terms of locking in a replacement in place. That would depend on what candidates came forward prior to Christmas, he said.

“We appreciate what Brian has done during the past 18-20 months. He will also stay on during the transition,” McKone said.

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It is Hopley’s second stint in the role of Rugby Southland general manager.

He held the position from 2011 to 2015 before departing to take up a job with the Samoa Rugby Union.

Hopley returned to the Rugby Southland job when his replacement Andrew Moreton departed early in 2018.

Hopley has yet to be reached for comment.

It has been a challenging period for Rugby Southland given the difficulties in making ends met financially in recent years, as well as the Southland Stags’ on-field struggles.

On top of that Rugby Southland has had to vacate its offices at Rugby Park after toxic mould was found at the venue.

The offices are now based at the old netball centre clubrooms at Surrey Park in Invercargill.

It has since been revealed 1567 of the 3400 seats in the Rugby Park grandstand was now also off-limits because of safety concerns with the bleachers. 

Although there have been some success stories for Rugby Southland during the past year which included a revamped premier club competition, as well as growing the women’s game. 

Hopley’s pending departure is one of a handful of changes at Rugby Southland HQ.

The community operations manager position held by Mike Mannix has also become vacant with Rugby Southland advertising for a new community rugby manager.

Applications close on December 13.

Dale MacLeod has also stepped up from the Stags assistant coach to replace Dave Hewett as Rugby Southland’s director of rugby and Stags head coach.

Simon Frisby also joined Rugby Southland in October as its new commercial manager.




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