The Rugby League European Federation has confirmed the appointment of David Butler as the organization’s new general manager, with the former head of participation at British Equestrian and director of delivery for Basketball England due to take up his post on 4 January, 2021.

Butler returns to the sport having previously held the roles of head of community delivery and national community competitions manager at the Rugby Football League, and been general manager at Sheffield Eagles.

RLEF chair Maurice Watkins, CBE, commented:

After a thorough, exhaustive and delayed process due to the interruptions of Covid-19, we are delighted to have David secured in post and on-board.

David joins at a very exciting time for the sport in the region with more nations than ever playing, and with the necessary drive and vision to ensure that the RLEF is absolutely fit for purpose emerging from the pandemic.

Watkins added: “We were particularly impressed by the standard of candidates who put themselves forward which reflects well on our progress to date and their desire to be a part of such a progressive governing body.”

Butler said of his appointment:

I am truly delighted to be joining the RLEF and would like to thank the board for giving me this tremendous opportunity. I’m looking forward to working with them, the staff team and the member nations to continue the growth and development of rugby league in the northern hemisphere.

“I have been fortunate to be involved with the RLEF as a volunteer for some time, had some wonderful experiences and know the absolute value of the international game. This a dream position for me and I can’t wait to get started.”