Super Rugby

Queensland rugby chief to step down

Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) chief executive Jim Carmichael will step down from his role at the end of the year.

The QRU has come under-fire as the Reds continue to struggle in Super Rugby, with coach Richard Graham sacked just two games into the season.

The Reds won a total of nine games across 2014-15, but Graham was re-appointed before the 2016 campaign.

In a statement, Carmichael said: "In December, the QRU board adopted our next five-year strategic plan, which will take the organisation through to 2020.

"The industry has now also ratified and adopted the Australian Rugby strategic plan, which the QRU has been closely involved in with the ARU for a number of years.

"Although in sport, the work is never completed, I was satisfied with the transformation and reform we have put in place not only for rugby in Queensland but also for the influence we have been able to have on the national and international strategy for the code.

"Therefore, I came to a decision last year that it was time for me pursue another major challenge in my career and the QRU board has been aware of my thinking since before the Christmas break.

"Originally, Rod McCall was due to retire as QRU chairman in March 2017 and the board had a clear succession plan which included Damien Frawley taking up the role of deputy chairman in 2016, so we could transition the organisation to his new stewardship.

"With Rod announcing his early retirement as QRU chairman in February and Damien taking up the role earlier than originally planned, I felt that it was important to confirm to the board some weeks ago – and also to the ARU with whom the relationship is close - that 2016 will be my final year, so that we have the necessary time to recruit the organisation’s next CEO.

"The QRU board will shortly commence a recruitment process for the organisation’s next CEO, which will allow the successful candidate to have the necessary input into the QRU’s process to appoint a St.George Queensland Reds head coach ahead of the 2017 Super Rugby season. The CEO recruitment process will also allow an appropriate transfer of knowledge and transition period between myself, the board and the incoming CEO."