Ben Ikin to Lead QRL – Pathways and Growth Ahead.
The Queensland Rugby League (QRL) has appointed Ben Ikin as its new chief executive officer. Ikin, a former elite player who represented both Queensland and Australia, brings a wealth of rugby league knowledge and experience to the role. Having previously served as an independent director on the QRL board, Ikin was instrumental in the implementation of the National Player Development Framework and led the Pathways and Performance Committee.
QRL chairman Bruce Hatcher said Ikin would deliver outstanding leadership to rugby league in Queensland. “Ben brings an immense amount of rugby league knowledge with him and is widely respected in the game,” Hatcher said. “Part of our role in the game is from community rugby league to sub–elite, which is the Hostplus Cup and BMD Premiership, and the significant contribution our clubs make to the NRL and NRLW.”
Ikin, who has previously worked as a Fox Sports presenter, said it was a privilege to have the opportunity to lead the QRL. “It’s a great honour to be given this role,” Ikin said. “The QRL has a very long, proud history and is responsible for a very important part of rugby league across the state. “I look forward to working with our staff and stakeholders to ensure that the way we do things in Queensland is both preserved and respected.”
Ikin’s league journey began in the Gold Coast junior ranks and he went on to have a successful career in the NRL, playing 150 games for the Gold Coast Seagulls, North Sydney Bears and Brisbane Broncos. He was a key member of the Broncos’ premiership–winning team in 2000 and became the youngest player in State of Origin history when he was chosen for the Maroons during the 1995 season. He also made 17 State of Origin appearances for Queensland and two Tests for the Kangaroos. In June 2021, Ikin stepped down from the QRL board and Fox Sports to pursue a new career opportunity with the Brisbane Broncos in the National Rugby League.
He has now finished up with the Broncos and will commence the CEO role with the QRL on Monday, May 22, the same day the Queensland men’s State of Origin team is announced. Ikin has also been an assistant coach in the Hostplus Cup with the Wynnum Manly Seagulls, and has served on the board of the North Queensland Cowboys. The QRL is looking forward to Ikin’s new role as CEO and the contribution he will make to grow and prosper rugby league in the years to come.