Dragons boss to take over in tough times

Pamela Whaley

Incoming St George Illawarra chief executive Ryan Webb will be tasked with steering the club through one of the toughest periods in NRL history.

Appointed after a four-month search, Webb will take over from April 6 and navigate the Dragons through the coronavirus pandemic as well as Jack de Belin's rape trial, which starts on April 8.

Webb, who will replace Brian Johnston, was formerly the chief operating officer of the Wests Tigers and has worked in the AFL over a 15-year career in sports.

"Becoming the chief executive of the Dragons is a great chance to leverage all the skills I've acquired over the past 15 years and bring them all together to help St George Illawarra become the powerhouse it should be," Webb said in a statement.

"There are challenges we'll have to face from the beginning. Whether that be off the field with the Jack de Belin matter, any football department matters that arise as well as the COVID-19 pandemic."

Webb comes to the Dragons after leaving his position as CEO of Zukaz, a digital marketing phone application.

In his first statement to members and fans, he said the club would continue to listen to and respond to the NRL's advice on coronavirus.

"Everyone around the world is listening and learning and taking on the best advice possible, that's all we can do," he said.

"We're all part of a greater community in this instance so we need to continue to act accordingly.

"It's a very unique situation and time, but I'm looking forward to hitting the ground running when I do commence my role."