SANZAAR boss Andy Marinos has been appointed chief executive of Rugby Australia and said he plans to hit the ground running with a busy domestic calendar looming.
The Zimbabwe-born 48-year-old takes over from Rob Clarke, who stepped in on an interim basis in May after the acrimonious departure of Raelene Castle, who left amid internal divisions and a financial crisis.
Former ACT Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels chief Clarke steadied the ship and steered rugby through the coronavirus crisis, but was adamant he was only in the job temporarily.
Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan said Marinos was the standout candidate with a strong global network, commercial and broadcast experience and proven connections within the Australian game.
"Andy has an exciting vision for rugby in Australia, and he knows what needs to be done to continue the code's success into 2021 and beyond," said McLennan in a statement.
"Rob stepped into the role on short notice and has done an incredible job in re-structuring rugby to be set up for future success."
Marinos will take over in February after five years running the southern hemisphere governing body SANZAAR.
A former player, he represented Wales eight times and previously worked with both the Wales and South Africa rugby boards.
"We need to hit the ground running and build momentum from the start so we can continue to move forward with deliberate intent, as we look to reignite the game from the bottom up," said Marinos.
He will barely have his feet under the table before the domestic Super Rugby AU season starts on February 19 ahead of a trans-Tasman competition in May.