Who we are

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) is one of New Zealand's largest sports organisations, with a team committed to ensuring that our national game is run smoothly and effectively at all levels, all over New Zealand.

Our Vision

Inspiring and Unifying through rugby.

It’s our goal to be a world-leading sports organisation, helping all of rugby to be the best it can be.

We lead, support, grow and promote New Zealand's game, striving for rugby teams in black that are unrivalled, a high-performance system that produces the world’s best talent, competitions that fans love, and a community game at the heart of the sport that is strong.

We are committed to New Zealand rugby being financially secure, attracting top partners and contributing actively to the global game.

Our Executive Team

NZR is made up of seven teams: Professional Rugby and Performance, Community Rugby, Commercial, Technology, People, Safety and Wellbeing, Corporate Services and All Blacks and is headed by a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who is supported by an Executive Team (known as 'The Exec'), Leadership Team and other management.

The Exec, as people leaders, are responsible for the day to day running of NZR, while the CEO is ultimately responsible for ensuring that NZR's strategy is implemented and that the organisation achieves its objectives. The CEO and Exec work closely with the NZR Board and provide a link between staff and the Board.

Mark Robinson Headshot

Mark Robinson

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Mark Robinson took up the role of CEO in January 2020. Prior to this he served on the NZR Board for seven years and was NZR's delegate to World Rugby. During a rugby career that spanned the amateur and professional era, Mark played nine Tests for the All Blacks between 2000-2002 and also played in the United Kingdom and Japan. Mark was CEO of Taranaki Rugby from 2007-2012 and has worked in consultancy in the areas of education, environment, energy and agriculture. He holds degrees from the universities of Victoria (Wellington) and Cambridge.

Steve Lancaster1

Steve Lancaster

GM Community Rugby

Steve Lancaster has led Community Rugby in New Zealand since 2016. Steve is responsible for managing the relationships between NZR and Provincial Unions to improve experiences and opportunities for all participants. Under his leadership, NZR has introduced significant developments to the domestic game, most recently through Game On and Rip Rugby. The former Crusaders lock has been involved in sports administration for over 20 years, including High Performance roles at NZR, Crusaders, Rugby Canada and Netball New Zealand.

Chris Lendrum1

Chris Lendrum

GM Professional Rugby & Performance

Chris Lendrum brings a wealth of experience to the Professional Rugby and Performance portfolio, having held numerous roles within NZR since 2009 as well as RSO governance experience. Chris holds a Bachelors of Law (Honours) and Arts. He has led multiple successful individual and Collective Employment Agreement (CEA) renegotiations over many years. Chris is responsible for managing key professional rugby stakeholder relationships including NZRPA, professional players and staff and Super Rugby Clubs, as well as overall leadership for NZR's national team programmes and professional rugby competitions.

Jo Perez1

Jo Perez

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Jo Perez joined NZR in June 2022. Jo is an experienced senior executive leader who has a wide and varied background in the public and private sectors. Prior to NZR she was the Deputy Chief Executive Finance, Planning and Assurance at Ara Poutama Aotearoa | Department of Corrections. Previously Jo held senior leadership roles at Trade Me, Merck & Co, AXA NZ, and Spark leading teams through a range of different business environments and cycles. She is responsible for NZR Group Corporate Services which leads the finance, legal services and strategic planning functions with an outcomes focus.

Paul Stevens 5 1

Paul Stevens

Chief Communications Officer

Paul Stevens has held several communications roles at NZR across two stints with the organisation, most notably as the Head of Communications and Campaigns since 2021. Paul is responsible for the Communications function, focusing on enhancing the organisation's reputation across national teams, community and professional rugby, commercial ventures, and with the Executive Team and Board.

With extensive experience in marketing and communications, he has worked across various sectors including non-profits, public sector, and sports organisations. 

Paul holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing), Bachelor of Sport & Recreation (Management), a Master of Communications (First Class Honours) and is a member of the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand.