Crowe doubles down on rogue NRL push
Actor Russell Crowe has doubled down on his push for former South Sydney boss Shane Richardson to be instated as the NRL's next CEO.
Crowe, the Hollywood icon who co-owns the Rabbitohs, is tight with Richardson and believes he would be the perfect fit to lead the NRL after Todd Greenberg stood down earlier this week.
NRL commercial chief Andrew Abdo has taken the reins on an interim basis but Crowe is confident Richardson, who quit his job with the Bunnies this year after the coronavirus outbreak forced the season to be suspended, has the right skills to take the top job permanently.
''I look at Shane's experience at the coal face in clubs, how deep his bloodlines connect right through the code and to me he's exactly who the chairman needs alongside him,'' Crowe told Danny Weidler of the Sydney Morning Herald.
"He was CEO successfully of three clubs. He has taken every first grade Australian club he has led to a grand final. If you look at the players, administrators and coaches who connect to Richo in his vast and long connection with the game, it's a veritable who's who of rugby league. He connects to every club in the game at a personal level.
''Shane has the capacity. Shane gets things done. Shane loves the game, and you need to love the game to understand that the decisions that benefit all the clubs are the decisions that need to be made.
"The game has to evolve, we have to take advantage of the perspective this sour gift is giving us and make use of it. Richo is a strong personality who is forthright in his views.
"One way or the other, he will get to the core of the problem or task at hand. He is relentless. That's what we need right now.''
Crowe's ringing endorsement comes after he spruiked Richardson's credentials last week. "There's no better candidate available for the job. Simple fact," Crowe told The Daily Telegraph.
Richardson has previous experience working for the NRL, having filled the role as head of strategy and game development in 2015.
He has also spent more than 20 years in the game as an administrator, after stints at Cronulla and Penrith before his lengthy time as Souths supremo.
He was also the CEO who broke the premiership drought at Crowe's Rabbitohs, at the helm of the club for the 2014 title.
However, there is some argument his appointment could split the game. Former NSW State of Origin five-eighth Braith Anasta was particularly critical of Richardson's Souths exit this year, and whether he'd taken a payout.
And Anasta claimed last week that there were many in the game not supportive of the Rabbitohs powerbroker.
"We all know what I thought of Shane's exit from Souths," Anasta told Fox League Live. "At the time he didn't answer that question - if he had a job lined up at the NRL … which meant he was going for it.
"Shane has a lot of enemies in the game, and I know that just from the feedback I received after I spoke about his exit at Souths. I just can't see it working."
Originally published as Crowe doubles down on rogue NRL push