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The NSWRL today paid tribute to NSWRL Chief of Business Services David Nissen after the highly respected administrator finished up a successful Rugby League career with NSWRL that has spanned more than two decades.

Nissen rejoined the NSWRL in 2013 and has been involved with several successful projects including the NSWRL Centre of Excellence, the move by the NSWRL and the Country Rugby League (CRL) to come together to act as a single governing body, and the One State NSWRL Strategic Plan.

“Nisso has always discharged his duties with considerable skill and professionalism, and he is highly regarded and affectionately thought of by his peers,” NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said.

“His most enduring legacies to the game include delivering a hugely successful Rugby League World Cup tournament in 2008 and managing the financial aspects of the delivery of the current NSWRL Centre of Excellence, which were both on time and on budget.

“Working in Rugby League was never a job for Nisso because he was just as passionate working to deliver the best product for a community Rugby League game as he was for State of Origin.

“It was never about the event; it was about the game of Rugby League itself.”

Nissen, a former Ryde-Eastwood ball boy, player and pathways coach for Balmain Tigers, worked for the Commonwealth Bank and the Sydney Maritime Museum before transferring his skills as an administrator to the game of Rugby League.

He acted as the finance manager for the Australian Rugby League, NSWRL and the Rugby League International Federation from 2003-10, which included a successful stint as the General Manager for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.

The tournament was held to celebrate the centenary of Rugby League in Australia, and Nissen presided over competitions including men’s, women’s wheelchair, police, defence and students.

The 2008 men’s tournament was the first time a World Cup had been held since 2000 and involved 10 teams with New Zealand upsetting Australia 34-20 in the final in Brisbane.

“Nisso worked with a small team and delivered that World Cup at a much lesser cost than what the consultants thought we could,” former ARL Chief Executive Geoff Carr said.

“David always got on well with other people and had a great sense of humour. I wish him all the best for his next move and look forward to catching up with him in the future.”

Nissen then took up a position as the General Manager of Finance and Business Services at Wests Tigers from 2010-2013 before returning to the NSWRL for a second stint where he played a key role in the delivery of several important initiatives.

The multi-million NSWRL Centre of Excellence opened in 2019 and is a world-class facility for all NSW representative teams to train at, including the men’s and women’s Origin teams.

The NSWRL and the CRL came together at the end of 2019 to act as a single merged entity to ensure more Rugby League programs and competitions could be delivered across the state, while the One State NSWRL Strategic Plan is a blueprint to take the game forward into the future.

“I want to thank Nisso for his significant contribution to NSWRL which is reflected in the success the business has enjoyed under his leadership as part of the executive team, and for his friendship which we have all been the beneficiaries of,” Trodden said.

“He has been massive for the NSWRL and he should be really proud of his contribution to the organisation and the legacy he leaves behind.

“I am confident he will enjoy success wherever he goes and the NSWRL wishes him all the very best for the next stage of his career.”

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.