RLPA Board

Russell Adams

Chair

Principal Consultant - Russell Adams Consulting.

Russell Adams is a senior lawyer and business consultant with over 30 years’ experience as

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Russell Adams

Chair

Principal Consultant - Russell Adams Consulting.

Russell Adams is a senior lawyer and business consultant with over 30 years’ experience as an adviser and senior executive. As a partner at leading commercial law firm Phillips Fox his practice background focused on insurance and financial services and involved advising on a wide range of business and risk issues including corporate governance and regulatory compliance.

In 2004 he was appointed as the managing director of the firm’s Insurance and Risk Management group and he subsequently held a variety of senior executive roles including Managing Partner, Chief Operating Officer and Regional and National Practice Group Head. In addition to his industry and operational experience Russell was responsible for overseeing the merger and integration of Phillips Fox with DLA Piper, the world’s largest law firm at that time. In 2011 he was appointed to the International Board of DLA Piper, elected Chairman of the International Remuneration Committee in 2012 and appointed to the Global Board of DLA Piper in 2013.

Russell retired from the partnership of DLA Piper in 2015 and now acts as a consultant to the legal and business communities.

Ian Prendergast

CEO & Managing Director

Ian Prendergast joined the RLPA as Chief Executive Officer in December 2015 from the AFL Players Association, where he had

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Ian Prendergast

CEO & Managing Director

Ian Prendergast joined the RLPA as Chief Executive Officer in December 2015 from the AFL Players Association, where he had been the General Manager of Player Relations since 2009.

Ian completed his law degree at Monash University while playing 65 AFL games over eight years for the Carlton Football Club.

He is also a past General Secretary of the Australian Athletes Alliance, where he gained a broad understanding of the issues facing Rugby League Players.

Ian led the RLPA through the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations with the NRL, which secured a significant number of improved benefits for Rugby League Players over the next five years.

As well as his role of CEO, Ian is also the Managing Director on the RLPA Board.

Deidre Anderson

Director

Deputy Vice Chancellor - Macquarie University.

The vision for Deidre’s portfolio is for Macquarie to be the number one University in

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Deidre Anderson

Director

Deputy Vice Chancellor - Macquarie University.

The vision for Deidre’s portfolio is for Macquarie to be the number one University in Australia for Student Experience.

Previously, Deidre has held senior roles within the private sector and Federal and Local government and has held Executive positions both at international and national level within elite sports. She has been acknowledged worldwide for her contribution to elite athletes, and has a lifelong commitment to supporting the development of young people.

She is currently chair of the Macquarie University controlled entity [email protected], President of Australian University Sport (AUS), past President of Australian Women's Sport and Recreation Association (AWRA) and Director Sport Inclusion Australia (SIA).

She has been a recipient of a Paul Harris Fellow for her contribution to international relations, a recipient of the Princeton International Business Leaders award, recipient of the Eunice Gill Coach Education award, an honorary member of the Golden Keys International Honour Society and a Justice of the Peace. She is the co-author of a number of books and has published extensively in the areas of athlete transition. Deidre holds a Masters, Post Graduate Degrees and Bachelor of Arts and is currently completing her PhD at Macquarie University.

Adam Blair

Director

Joining the RLPA Board as a casual vacancy in August 2017, Adam was officially elected as a Director alongside Eloni

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Adam Blair

Director

Joining the RLPA Board as a casual vacancy in August 2017, Adam was officially elected as a Director alongside Eloni Vunakece and Joel Thompson at the 2018 AGM.

One of the most respected forwards in the game and the current captain of the New Zealand Kiwis, Adam has played over 250 NRL games across three Clubs including Brisbane, Wests Tigers and Melbourne.

Adam was born in Whangerei, New Zealand, and played his junior football with the Northland Carvers.

Making his NRL debut in 2006, Adam was awarded the Melbourne Storm's Rookie of the Year award and was rewarded with a call-up to the Kiwis squad for their Tri-Nations campaign.

In 2008, Adam was part of the Melbourne Storm's Grand Final team that lost to the Manly Sea Eagles.

In the following season, Adam scored a try in the 2009 Grand Final during his side's victory over Parramatta.

Joining the Wests Tigers in 2012, the Junior Kiwis representative made 71 appearances for the joint venture over three seasons before joining the Broncos in 2015.

Adam played in his third NRL Grand Final in 2016 as part of the Broncos side that lost to North Queensland in Golden Point.

In 2018, Adam joins his fourth NRL Club, the New Zealand Warriors.

Jeremy Latimore

Director

Jeremy Latimore has played over 130 NRL games across five NRL Clubs, with the forward returning to the St George

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Jeremy Latimore

Director

Jeremy Latimore has played over 130 NRL games across five NRL Clubs, with the forward returning to the St George Illawarra Dragons in 2018.

Jeremy began his NRL career in 2009 with the Parramatta Eels, moving to the New Zealand Warriors, Dragons, Penrith Panthers and Cronulla Sharks in the time since.

The Port Macquarie Sharks junior made his representative debut in 2015 with the Prime Minister's XIII side.

In 2016, Jeremy completed his Bachelor of Business degree and is a strong advocate for player education and personal development.

James Maloney

Director

James Maloney joins the Penrith Panthers in 2018 after a successful stint with the Cronulla Sharks, where he helped guide

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James Maloney

Director

James Maloney joins the Penrith Panthers in 2018 after a successful stint with the Cronulla Sharks, where he helped guide the Club to their maiden premiership in 2016.

Prior to his time with the Sharks, James played for the Sydney Roosters, New Zealand Warriors and Melbourne Storm.

James was part of the premiership-winning Sydney Roosters side in 2013 and was runner-up with the New Zealand Warriors in 2011.

A sharp-shooting goal-kicker, James reached the significant milestone of 200 NRL games in 2017, whilst also being part of the World Cup winning Kangaroos squad.

The St Edwards junior has represented Australia, New South Wales, Country Origin and the Prime Minister’s XIII.

Tim Mannah

Director

Tim Mannah is co-captain of the Parramatta Eels, where he has amassed over 200 NRL games for the Club since

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Tim Mannah

Director

Tim Mannah is co-captain of the Parramatta Eels, where he has amassed over 200 NRL games for the Club since making his debut in 2009.

In 2017, Tim made his International debut for Lebanon in the Rugby League World Cup, adding to his impressive list of accomplishments in the game.

Previously, the Guildford Owls junior represented New South Wales in State of Origin, City Origin and was selected in the Prime Minister’s XIII in 2012.

Tim was elected to the RLPA Board at the 2015 Annual General Meeting and was re-elected for another term at the 2018 AGM.

Nimesh Shah

Director

Nimesh is CFO and Company Secretary at Isentia and has more than 15 years experience as an executive in the

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Nimesh Shah

Director

Nimesh is CFO and Company Secretary at Isentia and has more than 15 years experience as an executive in the media and internet sectors across Australia, the UK and Asia.

Nimesh was global CFO for pioneering social networking site Friendster and Finance Director at Fairfax Digital for seven years playing an instrumental role in navigating the company into the world of online publishing and transaction business.

He was appointed an RLPA Director in March 2017 after spending time on the Advisory Board previously.

Joel Thompson

Director

Joel was officially elected as an RLPA Director at the 2018 AGM after spending a short time prior as a

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Joel Thompson

Director

Joel was officially elected as an RLPA Director at the 2018 AGM after spending a short time prior as a casual vacancy on the Board.

Closing in on 200 NRL appearances, Joel made his NRL debut for the Canberra Raiders in 2008, before joining St George Illawarra ahead of the 2014 season.

After three seasons with the Dragons, the Forbes Magpies junior made the off-season move to Manly-Warringah, signing a two-year deal starting in 2018.

An Indigenous All Stars Representative on six occasions, Joel does a tremendous amount of community work and was part of the NRL's State of Mind program in 2017.

Eloni Vunakece

Director

Eloni is part of the Sydney Roosters NRL squad and joined the RLPA Board as casual vacancy in August 2017

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Eloni Vunakece

Director

Eloni is part of the Sydney Roosters NRL squad and joined the RLPA Board as casual vacancy in August 2017 and was officially elected as a Director at the 2018 AGM.

Born in Sydney, the prop forward played his junior football for the Holy Cross Rhinos and Leichhardt Wanderers before progressing into the senior grades with Balmain Ryde-Eastwood and Western Suburbs Magpies.

Eloni moved to France in 2013, where he played one season with Elite One Championship side Toulouse Olympique.

Eloni has been a mainstay of the Fijian Rugby League side in recent years, which has included appearances in the the past two Rugby League World Cups (2013, 2017).

Eloni made his NRL debut for the Sydney Roosters in 2016 and was named in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of the Year for his effort with the Wyong Roos.

Cameron Smith

General President

Cameron was appointed General President of the RLPA at the 2017 AGM, taking over from Clint Newton who moved into

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Cameron Smith

General President

Cameron was appointed General President of the RLPA at the 2017 AGM, taking over from Clint Newton who moved into the role of General Manager of Player Relations.

A recognised leader both on and off the field, Cameron is the captain of Australia, Queensland and the Melbourne Storm.

In 2017, Cameron broke a number of long-standing records in yet another stellar season, perhaps most notably surpassing Darren Lockyer of 355 games as the most-capped NRL player in history.

Cameron resigned from his role as an RLPA Director at the 2018 AGM, however will continue as General President of the Association and be involved at board level. He is passionate about the game and believes it will grow and prosper if the Playing Group is engaged in decisions that affect Rugby League at all levels.