Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons and MP for Chorley, will take over the Rugby Football League presidency from Clare Balding from 2023.
Hoyle will begin his term after the next RFL Council meeting on December 22. He will take over from Balding, who has held the honorary position since July 2020.
Hoyle said: “I have been a rugby league fan all my life. I think it’s an absolutely fantastic sport so it is a real honour to be asked to be RFL president.
“Since my father introduced me to the game, I have loved the fast pace, high collision nature of rugby league, but also its vital role in bringing communities together and developing upcoming talent.
“This autumn’s Rugby League World Cup – with the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions running alongside each other – gives us an opportunity to showcase the best players and the best sport in the world to an even bigger audience. I can’t wait.”
RFL boss delighted to link up with Sir Lindsay Hoyle
RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer said: “I’m personally thrilled that Sir Lindsay has accepted the invitation to serve as the RFL president for 2023; and delighted that the Rugby League Council shares that enthusiasm.
“He has been a passionate advocate for rugby league for many years, more than ever since his election as Speaker; and combines that passion with great knowledge of all aspects of the sport.
“Clare Balding will be a tough act to follow. I know she is relishing the Rugby League World Cup this autumn – so we are thrilled that in Sir Lindsay, we have such a worthy successor.
“We’re really looking forward to working even more closely with him.”
Sue Taylor, the chair of the British Amateur Rugby League Association (BARLA), today begins an 18-month term as vice president.
Taylor succeeds Mike Smith, who will take up a new role as deputy vice president for the next six months to include the World Cup.