Hong Kong rugby boss McRobbie to stand down, says time has come to ‘explore other opportunities’

hong kong rugby boss mcrobbie to stand down, says time has come to ‘explore other opportunities’

Hong Kong rugby boss Robbie McRobbie has said he will stand down after next year’s sevens, the last one before the event moves to the new stadium in Kai Tak.

The Hong Kong China Rugby CEO told the governing body’s board on Tuesday that he would leave by the middle of 2024.

After initially joining as community rugby manager in 2003 and serving as CEO from 2017, McRobbie said the time had come to “explore other opportunities in Hong Kong”.

“I have thought about this for some time and believe that it is time to hand over the reins to a new CEO who may bring in new ideas and approaches for the move to Kai Tak Sports Park and the development of rugby in Hong Kong, including our famous Hong Kong Sevens,” McRobbie said.

“It has been an honour and privilege to have been able to work in a sport I love and with people who are committed and passionate about sport and its potential as a driving force for good in society.

hong kong rugby boss mcrobbie to stand down, says time has come to ‘explore other opportunities’

Robbie McRobbie will leave the union by the middle of 2024 but plans on staying in the city long term. Photo: Nora Tam

“While we have endured some tough times in recent years because of Covid, I can honestly say that I could not have asked for a more fulfilling and enjoyable career over the past 20 years. I will forever be thankful that I have been able to combine my love of rugby with earning a living while also having a lot of fun along the way.”

According to the union, McRobbie’s decision to announce his departure months in advance will allow time to “manage a smooth handover” with his successor.

Chris Brooke, the HKCR chairman, said the board would launch a global recruitment exercise to fill the position, and said while “disappointed that Robbie has decided to step down”, wished him “all the very best in the future”.

“Robbie has always been a passionate advocate for grass-roots development and was instrumental in the setting up of our community foundation, now Rugby for Good, which has been a leader in the sport-for-good sector in Hong Kong,” Brooke said.

“I know that Robbie plans to stay in Hong Kong for the long term, and I am certain he will continue to contribute to the rugby community of which he has been such an integral and important part for so many years.”

The Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Seven’s in April is expected to be the last one in Hong Kong Stadium, bringing an end to a 30-year association between the iconic tournament and a venue that has become famous around the world.

Brooke said the governing body remained fully focused on delivering a successful domestic season and sevens event while also beginning the search for McRobbie’s replacement.

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