Rugby League Future Insights and IMG Impact with Leeds Rhinos CEO Gary Hetherington

Rugby League Leader Optimistic About the Future of the Sport

Leeds Rhinos CEO Gary Hetherington recently shared his insights on the current state of rugby league and the impact of IMG’s involvement in the sport. Hetherington, who has been with the Rhinos for nearly three decades, oversaw an unprecedented era of success for the club earlier this century.

Speaking on the Sky Sports podcast “The Bench with Jenna and Jon,” Hetherington acknowledged the ongoing challenges facing rugby league.

“The game has always been challenged since I’ve been involved as a young fan in the 1960s,” he said. “But rugby league is unique – it was born out of its community and remains connected to it. The sport has tremendous potential that we need to unlock.”

However, the rugby league veteran also expressed optimism about the future of the sport, particularly with the introduction of IMG as a major partner.

“I think we’re on the verge of some significant progress,” Hetherington said. “The governance of the game is in pretty good shape, and with IMG on board for the next 12 years, we have some great opportunities ahead.”

The CEO also praised the progress made in the rugby league stronghold of the Southern Hemisphere, where the sport is expanding its reach, including into the United States.

“The NRL is a significantly bigger competition than us, but we need to be part of their strategy and play our part,” he said, referring to the recent historic NRL double-header event in Las Vegas.

Overall, Hetherington’s comments suggest a cautiously optimistic outlook for the future of rugby league, with the potential for growth and development through partnerships like the one with IMG and by learning from the successes of competitions like the NRL. As a long-serving leader in the sport, his perspective provides valuable insights into the current state and future prospects of rugby league.

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