15th July 2020, 10:55 | rfl

RFL CEO Ralph Rimmer pays tribute to Tony Adams MBE & Carl Hall

RFL CEO Ralph Rimmer pays tribute to Tony Adams MBE & Carl Hall

RFL Chief Executive Ralph Rimmer today paid tribute to the work of Tony Adams MBE and Carl Hall in their year as President and Vice President of the game’s governing body. 

Adams, who became the RFL’s 29th President in July 2019, will stand down at today’s meeting of the Rugby League Council - to be succeeded by Clare Balding OBE - while the Council members will be asked to approve a motion extending Hall’s tenure as Vice President for six months until he is succeeded by Mike Smith of Hull Kingston Rovers. 

Ralph Rimmer said: “Tony and Carl have been a great team, and I know they’ve really enjoyed working together. 

“They have very different backgrounds – one from North London, the other from the North Island of New Zealand – and of course they played different sports. 

“But they are united by that experience of having played professional sport – and they’ve both brought that experience to their year working for the RFL. 

“It was the impact Tony had already had on our current Rugby League players through his Sporting Chance charity that made him such a great fit for the President’s role. 

“As a sport, we’ve benefited hugely from the way he’s able to enthuse about Rugby League to a new audience. But that only works if it’s authentic. 

“Tony knows from the RFL’s history with Sporting Chance that we are aware of the importance of player welfare. 

“There have been some significant changes in his year as President, as Tony was able to join us in paying tribute to the work done by Emma Rosewarne over her long association with the RFL and latterly Rugby League Cares. 

“He was also there to wave off Carl and our Chair, Simon Johnson, as they set off on the walk from Odsal to Emerald Headingley to raise funds for Rob Burrow and Mose Masoe on that memorable day in January – and I know he would have done the walk himself if he hadn’t been struggling with his knee at the time. 

“It’s appropriate that the two President’s Awards he has presented during his year with us have focused on the players: first in Reece Lyne of Wakefield Trinity, whose work with young offenders is such a great example of the humility and social conscience of our Super League stars; and recently Dr Gemma Phillips, who has played such a key role in our sport’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, but who has also earned huge respect from the players she has worked with at Hull KR, and with England and Great Britain. 

“Tony has shared in our frustration at the interruption to Rugby League over the last few months, as it has inevitably affected his involvement, with no fixtures to attend – but he was still able to send a message to players empathising with their situation, and I saw his pride and emotion when a number of players thanked him for the support provided by Sporting Chance after the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley last summer. 

“Of course our sport’s relationship with Sporting Chance means the relationship will continue, and we hope he will remain a familiar face at our major events. 

“We’re lucky to have Clare Balding to succeed Tony as President, just as we were privileged to have Tony to succeed Andy Burnham – again, it’s the authenticity of their relationship with the sport that holds the key to their impact in the role. 

“The Vice President is a different role, but equally valued, as we recognise long service to the sport. I go back a long way with Carl Hall to from our days together at Doncaster, so I was thrilled that he received this recognition last year, after making such a lasting contribution to British Rugby League after first coming here as a Junior Kiwi. Carl represents the sport with passion and integrity has been a great RLWC2021 Champion – especially promoting the legacy programme for the community game. 

“We asked the Council members last month to extend Carl’s tenure by six months, which would then allow Mike Smith to serve 18 months and alongside Clare Balding to take us to July 2022.”