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Tony Kidd


Tony Kidd is a Secondary School Teacher in Canterbury having taught at Hornby High School and and St Thomas of Canterbury College. He first played rugby league in the Waikato playing for Frankton Albions, and then for the Kawarau Bears in Otago and the Wakatipu Giants in Southland. Tony then moved to Christchurch where he was involved in playing and coaching at Sydenham, University, Riccarton and Hornby.

Tony has a long history of growing the game of Rugby League in schools and have been involved in founding clubs in Southland (The Wakatipu Giants) and Canterbury (University of Canterbury) and helping resurrect the Foxton Rebels in the Manawatu.

He took on the role of CRL Board Chairperson in 2019.

Having a passion for rugby league and wanting to make  difference to rugby league in the community, Tony has the vision, ability and grassroots support to help grow our game.


Sabrina Kunz

Vice Chairperson

Sabrina has a passionate curiosity and a commitment to serving the community. She has experience in business development, data commercialisation, stakeholder management, law and is an expert in corporate governance.

Sabrina has served on a number of boards and is currently a Director with New Zealand Rugby League Southern Zone, Red Bus Ltd and Avebury House Trust. Sabrina holds a Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of International Business, Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance from the Governance Institute Australia and an MBA from Royal Roads University. She is a member of the Institute of Directors.


Matt Ioane

Matt dabbled in local rugby league as a player with the Papanui Presidents grade team, while his son currently plays in the Tigers juniors.

Graduating from the University of Canterbury in 2002 with a Bachelor of Commerce, Matt was involved with many community-based services while working for Work and Income NZ.

He has been employed in the recruitment sector since 2006, holding several management and director roles.


Sol Smith

A tireless servant for rugby league in Canterbury as a player, coach and administrator, Sol’s experience and passion for the game are invaluable assets to the CRL board.

Sol played rugby league for 25 years from juniors through to premiers level and represented Canterbury A before injuries forced him to hang up the boots. After attaining coaching qualifications, he has been at the forefront of establishing and organising several new teams (USO XIII, RL Samoa South Island), successful events (USO vs BRO, Pacific Series) and charity matches. Sol also served on the Aranui Eagles’ committee for five years and was the club’s president from 2017-19.

Sol has worked in the voluntary sector for over 20 years in roles of governance, advisory, advocacy, administration and support, including with the Christchurch City Council for more than 10 years as a Community Development Advisor.

Nick Cooke

Nick’s extensive commercial experience, coupled with his love of sport, has encouraged him to seek the opportunity to give back to grassroots sport for the integral part it has played in his life.

A qualified chartered accountant, most of Nick’s day-to-day commercial work centres around helping organisations become better businesses. He has been a director/shareholder at World Gym Limited and Ellison’s Aluminium & Canterbury Aluminium, General Manager at Harrington’s Breweries and Site Leader at Lion NZ.

Nick gets enormous enjoyment out of helping a team of people identify a problem, put a plan together and then succeed. Understanding the role sporting organisations play in our society, how important they are to our communities and the intrinsic benefits they provide is behind Nick’s ambition to join the Canterbury Rugby League board.


Chris Ferguson

While completing his studies at the University of Canterbury, Chris landed a position at New Zealand Cricket to promote the game to young Kiwis, as well as working with district associations and cricket clubs around the country on their governance and operations.

In 2011 Chris joined the International Cricket Council, developing and implementing strategy to grow the sport across its 95 associate and affiliate member countries. In most of these nations cricket is a minority sport, but as a direct result of Chris’ strategic planning, global participation grew from 500,000 to 1.4 million in just four years.

These days Chris has his own business, Strategic Management NZ, where his mission is to provide small businesses with the functionality of big business – within a small business budget. He is passionate about all sports and developing plans to grow and sustain sports over a long period of time.

Tala kele

Tala had a long and successful rugby union career as a player, representing the Canterbury provincial team and playing over 300 games for Marist-Albion. But more recently he has established a  valuable association with local rugby league through his roles as coach, trainer and manager with Linwood Keas 18s and Women’s Premiership teams, and South Island Scorpions and Canterbury 17s and 19s rep sides.

As well as working in the construction sector, Tala has previously been employed in both local and central government.

Tala’s previous roles include positions with the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs and the Canterbury Development Corporation, which provided him with a sound understanding of political analysis and dissemination.

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