The appointment of Sir Michael Jones is a progressive placement on the New Zealand Rugby board that has been well received. The 55-Test cap former All Black replaces outgoing member Glenn Wahlstrom on the 12-person Board.
Both a respected rugby-mind, but also a figure who could proceed a ‘change of the guard’ at the rugby headquarters. One that is more inclusive, and respectful of all stakeholders. New Zealand Rugby (NZR) Chair Brent Impey said Jones would add considerable mana, knowledge and expertise to the table.
“Sir Michael has already made an immense contribution to New Zealand rugby both as a player at every level, and as a leader in the community.”
Jones, who was knighted for services to rugby and the Pacifica community in 2017, is the right addition to the board. He will add in both diversity, but also show that the efforts to represent the nation is a fundamental acknowledgement of the value brought by players with a Pacifica heritage.
Sir Michael Jones a progressive placement on the NZ Rugby board
Impey, and NZR chief executive Steve Tew were both glowing of the character of Jones. Impey spoke in the NZR media release;
“His ability to bring people together, to understand different perspectives and different cultures will be a valuable addition.”
New Zealand Rugby’s newest independent board member Sir Michael Jones with CEO Steve Tew pic.twitter.com/Dvp1MJzKUl
— Jason Pine (@pineyzb) April 19, 2018
Sir Michael Jones is the Chair of the ‘Village Community and Youth Trust’ which opened in 2003 to keep young Pacific and Maori people out of gang activity. Jones, who holds the Samoan matai chief titles of Savae and Laauli, and was the Samoa head coach in 2007.
Having played 74 matches for the All Blacks between 1987 and 1998, including 55 Test matches, Jones said he was humbled by the new role. “I have been fortunate throughout my life to be involved in rugby which has given me a lot.
“I am very humbled and privileged to have been elected on to the NZR Board, and I am looking forward to giving back to the game in this capacity,” he told AllBlacks.com.
Jones joins Dr Farah Palmer as new appointments to the NZR board, in the last two years. That alone brings a new diversity to the face of New Zealand Rugby. In the time of Respect and Responsibility it upholds many of the policies and ideals which have been adopted by the union.
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