New Zealand Rugby chairman Brent Impey has announced he will be resigning in his role as SANZAAR chairman, taking a parting jab at the organisation as he did so.
Impey has held the role for the last five years but said in a statement he will stand down effective 31st December 2020.
“In my view it is time for SANZAAR to make some fundamental changes which are best placed to happen under an independent chair,” Impey said.
“While there was no imperative for change it was appropriate to rotate the role. However, I now believe that the role of chair of a national union as well as chair of SANZAAR is a conflict for any country.”
Impey used his departure to encourage change in the organisation.
“I also hold the view that SANZAAR should become membership-based. The four-country consensus model is outdated if we are looking to grow the game commercially and internationally.
“A membership model would allow the group to act together on issues such as the global calendar, rules, regulations, governance and mutual commercial interests.
“Currently, the odds are heavily stacked against SANZAAR in its present form being able to affect change.”
Impey added he will continue in his role as chairman of New Zealand Rugby.
SANZAAR has been under intense stress internally this year, with the four unions involved - New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina - clashing on multiple fronts.
One of the more public fallouts was NZR’s disappointment with SANZAAR over the initially released Rugby Championship draw, which would have forced the All Blacks to spend Christmas in quarantine had it come to fruition.