Former Wallaby Bill Ross has been appointed Vintage Reds CEO as Queensland looks to use its extensive extensive playing alumni to assist rugby at all levels throughout the state.
Ross, who played 13 Tests as hooker between 1979-1983, as well as winning 50 caps for Queensland, will work on a new Queensland Rugby Union-endorsed strategy to engage regularly with the game's stakeholders.
Ross's experience goes beyond playing the game, with stints as Queensland team manager, QRU selector, QRU vice-president and Classic Wallabies Board member.
Ross said he was looking forward to helping the vast army of Vintage Reds foster the game.
"The VRs will engage in many annual events and specifically connect with the broader rugby community, including our schools and clubs, particularly in the regional Queensland through regular visits," Ross said.
"This we believe will create increased positivity in the game of rugby throughout the state."
QRU boss David Hanham said the organisation was pleased to have someone of Ross’s experience "to harness the unique qualities of this special group of Queensland’s former players for the benefit of the entire Queensland Rugby community".
“Bill was part of the collective that named the group the Vintage Reds over a decade ago, and QRU is pleased to be able to work with him and the new committee as the VRs are reinvigorated and prepare to deliver their strategy, shoulder to shoulder with the QRU staff and our board.”
Decorated former Wallaby Paul McLean will be the Vintage Reds chairman with Dan Crowley, David Codey, former Wallaroo Shirley Russell, Roger Gould, QRU director Mark Stanton and John Greig part a new committee overseeing the delivery of VR initiatives.
“Volunteering is the foundation of game, so what Bill will be endeavouring to do, is to harness the time, energy, and knowledge of those past Queensland players and officials, to support the game in all its facets, throughout the state," McLean said.
"We know those Vintage Reds want to help wherever they can, so they will be hearing from Bill very soon.”
Eleven regional visits have already been provisionally diarised for 2019, along with three major events, which include a significant VR luncheon to be held before Queensland’s game against NSW in Brisbane in May.