US ASSOCIATION OF RUGBY LEAGUE OFFICIAL

Governance & Members

The US Association of Rugby League Inc. (USARL) Board of Directors accept responsibility for constructing policy and providing resources for the development of strategies and plans for operations, finance, communication, legal, marketing and promotion and public relations for competition expansion, elite player development, national team performance, high school and college activities, coach, referee and volunteer education and training.​

Peter Illfield

Peter Illfield

Chairman / Director of Coaching

Mr. Illfield has been involved in the development of Rugby League on an International Basis. Prior to his appointment as  Chairman of the USA Rugby League in 2011, he spearheaded the preparation of elite youth squads for the Newcastle Knights, Western Australian Rugby League and Western Reds RLFC. He was a key component in the development of the sport at all levels.

Peter is a former Australian Rugby League player and accredited coach. He has developed and managed Rugby  League as a professional sports administrator and is an Australian Rugby League Level III High Performance Coach and has been a coaching staff member of the Australian  Institute of Sport, Rugby League National Youth Program.  He currently resides in Los Angeles.

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Steve Williams

Steve Williams

Board Member / Communications Director

Mr Williams has been involved with Rugby League in the USA since 1997 and has served as board member for the US Rugby League (USRL) 2000-2002 and American National Rugby League (AMNRL) 2002-2003. In 2010, Mr Williams helped establish and currently serves as an Executive Board Member for the USA Rugby League (USARL) through to present date. In 2014, he was elected and serves as board member on the U.S. Association of Rugby League, sanctioned by the RLIF as the National Governing Body to grow and administer the game of Rugby League in the USA.

Current roles served range from Administration, Policy Development, Strategic Planning, Marketing & Branding, Social Media, Event Planning and Delivery of Broadcast Games.

Original from Brisbane Australia, Mr Williams moved to Philadelphia in 1993 and has a 25+ year career in advertising and marketing working with Fortune 100 companies along with sporting organizations such as RLIF, FC Barcelona, UFC and NHL.

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Phillip Browne

Phillip Browne

Board Member / Development Programs / Merchandise

Phillip is a rugby league fanatic and entrepreneur. In 2003 he founded the Australian Fijian Rugby League to create playing pathways for Australian based Fijians. In 2009, he founded Try Tag Rugby which he has successfully grown to currently have 28,000 registered players UK wide.

Phillip was appointed USARL Hawks’ Team Liaison Officer for 2017 RLWC in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Following the 2017 World Cup, Phil joined forces with Australian journalist and author Steve Mascord to found Mascord Brownz the one stop shop for International Rugby League Fans. USA was the first National team to be featured on the site.

Mr Browne brings a lifetime of Rugby League experience to the USARL Board. Having participated in all facets of the game from player, coach, administrator, player agent, team liaison officer, sponsor and referee, Phillip is passionate about helping Rugby League reach its full potential as a sport on the international stage.

 

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John Hicks

John Hicks

Board Member / Sponsorships / NORTH Representative

With over 15 years of sales strategy and execution experience, Mr Hicks brings a high level of initiative and innovation to the USARL board.

John has been involved with the development of Rugby League in the United States since 2015. As treasurer and sponsorship coordinator for the Northern Virginia Eagles, he knows what it takes to grow the game locally and develop sponsorship value in a competitive American sports landscape.

John was introduced to Rugby as a Freshman at the University of Mary Washington. Since then he has played an integral part in the development of the Mary Washington Rugby program. In 2018 he managed the creation of the Mother's Rugby Foundation and is a current acting Executive Director of the board. John also founded the Northern Virginia Rugby Foundation, which focuses on rugby education and youth development in North Virginia.

John is currently pursuing coaching accreditation for both NRL and USA Rugby.

 

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Billy Nielson

Billy Nielson

Board Member / Hawks Team Manager / SOUTH Representative

Billy has been involved Rugby and Rugby League Game Development since his collegiate days at the University of Florida. Since then he has played on numerous teams and held executive level positions with a focus on all assets of the game.

Billy is a co-founder and current board member of the Tampa Mayhem where he strives to provide a professional sporting product that can be attended and enjoyed by every person in Tampa and the surrounding areas.

Billy is a Level II USA Rugby coach and Level I NRL coach. He is also an acting member of the USARL Board of Directors.

With over 18 years of playing and coaching experience as well as project management and operations expertise, Mr Neilson is valuable asset as USARL Hawks Team Manager.

 

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Drew Slover

Board Member / Secretary

Mr Slover has been involved in the development of Rugby League in the United States for 13 years and has been an acting board member of the USARL for seven years.

Drew was introduced to Rugby League during a trip to Australia in 2005 and immediately fell in love with the game. Upon returning home to the US, Drew wasted no time in founding his own Rugby League team, the Jacksonville Axemen, with his business partner in 2006. Since then the Axemen have been a mainstay of rugby league in the United States and continue to be a formidable force on and off the field now three time USARL Club Champions winning in 2018.

Drew currently owns his own marketing and advertising consulting agency in Jacksonville. He draws on his professional experience, industry relationships and team success to continue to grow the game of Rugby League in the United States.

 

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Laura Judd

Board Member / Marketing

Laura started her career as a Digital Video Journalist at Fox Sports Australia. Originally from Sydney, Laura moved to New York three years ago to work with sporting organizations, leagues and teams of all sizes on their digital video strategy, with a specific focus on amplifying live events across social media and OTT networks.

Laura is also passionate about youth development initiatives in sport. She has worked with the NRL on the Schoolboys Cup and in 2014 managed the Australian Youth Olympic Team at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. Currently Laura is assisting USA Touch in a variety of youth related projects.

Laura is committed to growing the game of rugby league in the Americas and is excited to use her media and marketing experience to help build the USARL brand.

 

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USARL LLC

USARL LLC

National & Club Competitions Committee

Organize national, conference and divisional competitions organization, maintain Constitution/Rules and Regulations. Responsible for the administration and operation of RL competitions / referee & coach education, training & development / junior & college development / elite development / provision of resources to national teams. Members include USARL Inc. (NGB) / all National Competition clubs / each competition LLC conference and, or Division / Youth Development / College RL / Ref. Assoc. / Coach Assoc. / commercial & individual entities as agreed by the Board.

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