Rugby Football League Board Diversity Project

Rugby League boardrooms are set to become more diverse, thanks to a ground-breaking partnership between the Rugby Football League (RFL) and Inclusive Boards. 

The Programme

Through the Rugby League Club Board Diversity Project an initial 10 professional clubs are working with the RFL and Inclusive Boards to broaden and strengthen the skills, knowledge and expertise within their boardrooms. 

The 10 clubs are:

Barrow Raiders | Halifax Panthers | Huddersfield Giants | Hunslet RLFC | Midlands Hurricanes

Salford Red Devils | Sheffield Eagles | Swinton Lions | Wakefield Trinity | Widnes Vikings

Each club is developing inclusive leadership and recruitment processes to ensure that the sport is able to attract and choose from the best possible candidates.

Inclusive Boards is working alongside all participating clubs, ensuring they each receive a baseline audit during the initial stages of the programme. This practice ensures a sound understanding is gained of each club’s needs and what work has already taken place to improve participation. Two training sessions are being designed and delivered followed by one-to-one guidance and support from the Inclusive Boards team. Inclusive Boards will also recruit a pool of diverse candidates for each club, taking a skills-first approach.

RFL Inclusion Lead, Ben Abberstein, explains:

“Rugby League is a sport that takes great pride in its history of diversity and representation at the highest level. The Club Board Diversity Project aims to ensure that this is present at leadership levels. This project is another important part of our TACKLE IT inclusion strategy and a massive step forward for the game – a step that is only made possible by the clubs’ commitment to being representative of their communities.”

Participating Clubs

Club Board Recruitment

Inclusive Boards is building a diverse talent pool of board level leaders who are interested in becoming a board member at an RFL club. We will recruit a minimum of 50 leaders with a cross-section of skills, attributes and experiences and encourage people who live, work, or who have a connection from within the communities that the clubs are located to consider applying for this unique opportunity to support their local clubs. We are seeking talent nationwide, and leaders who may or may not have had previous board experience.

Request a Candidate Pack

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What are Clubs looking for?


As with any role, there are specific qualities that are essential when taking on the position of board member, including:

  • Passionate about using your skills and experiences to support an RFL club to achieve its aims
  • Being able to consider the ‘big picture’
  • Having an independent mindset
  • Being a good listener
  • Energy and commitment
  • An effective networker
  • Able to act as an ambassador


In addition to having the range of attributes outlined above, boards are seeking members with a range of or specific singular skills such as:

  • Financial skills
  • Digital marketing
  • IT Systems
  • Leadership
  • Collaboration
  • Presentation
  • Media
  • Risk Management
  • Facilities Management
  • Diversity & Inclusion

How to Apply

Please submit an application form (available here). Application deadline: 23:59 January 23rd 2023

Applications will be reviewed and we may contact you for further information. At the end of the process, introductions will be made between each club and successful applicants.

We recommend downloading a copy of the candidate pack prior to making your application. To request a PDF copy of the application form or to schedule an informal, confidential discussion before applying please get in touch with one of our consultants by emailing with the subject line “Rugby Football League”

Please note, as part of the application process you will be asked to submit a CV. 


Submit your application: