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Tributes for retiring Chairman Mike Eagle

Tributes have been paid to retiring New Zealand Rugby Union Chairman Mike Eagle at today’s Annual General Meeting in Wellington.Eagle is stepping down after being elected for the first time as the Southern Zone representative in 2002 and becoming Chairman following Jock Hobb’s retirement in 2010.He told the meeting that his personal highlights included the successful bid for and hosting of Rugby World Cup 2011, the British & Irish Lions tour, and the reintroduction of capping for former All Blacks.“I go with the satisfaction of leaving this place at a time when it’s in better shape than when I came in. We are financially fit, we have a clear set of strategic goals to guide all our endeavours and there’s nothing like leaving on a winning note with our men and women in black on top of their game.

“It’s a real credit to my fellow directors, the management, staff, the players and coaches.  I’m confident New Zealand Rugby has a strong future and will continue to play its valuable role in unifying and inspiring this great country.”

Tributes for Mike Eagle

New Zealand Maori Rugby Board Chairman and NZRU Director Wayne Peters paid tribute to Eagle, describing him as an “inspirational force for rugby for over a decade. In that time the New Zealand Rugby Union has become a better organisation and you can take credit for the glue that has made this a better organisation.

“You have been prepared to listen to other people, encourage debate and contribute ideas. You have endeavoured to make the Board a cohesive force and without unity we are not a strong organisation. You have been approachable, insightful and you have always done it with good humour. You have been an exceptional Chairman and will be missed.”

New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew told the meeting that Eagle’s “support of people, his ability to treat everyone with respect and true caring compassion has endeared him to all.

“We will miss Mike and wife Frances but hope they take great pride that they not only leave the organisation, the jersey and teams in better shape than when they arrived but they have also made a huge impact on a large number of people’s lives.”



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