ERL Board of Directors

The European Rugby League Federation Ltd Board of Directors is charged with the management of the company's business; they make the strategic and operational decisions of the company and are responsible for ensuring that the company meets its statutory obligations. Members of the Board can be reached by emailing [email protected] in the first instance.


Maurice Watkins CBE | Independent Director | Chairperson
Maurice became RLEF chairman in August 2012 when serving as the interim chair of the RFL. He is Senior Partner in a prominent law firm and a former Director of Manchester United.  Maurice is on the board of the Lancashire County Cricket Club and is currently chair of British Swimming and Barnsley Football Club.  He is President of the British Association for Sport and Law.
Board Sub-Committee Membership:  Chairperson, Remuneration & Nominations Committee.


Paul Nicholson | Independent Director
Paul Nicholson is a sports media specialist who has worked with a number of governing bodies and federations. He is currently the CEO of Insideworldfootball magazine. He worked with London Broncos in the early days of their set up and coached a development group in the community and is a former international water polo player for Wales. Paul is an ERL representative on the IRL Board.
Board Sub-Committee Membership: Commercial Committee, European Club Competition Working Group


Mahdi Choudhury | Independent Director
Mahdi has extensive international, governmental, professional, and Olympic organization experience in legal, governance and operational fields and was previously CEO of the British Athletes Commission.  Mahdi has previously worked for the British Olympic Association and UK Sport. Experienced independent officer holder in multiple organizations, including government and Olympic, with fiduciary, commercial, strategy development and policy-making responsibilities.
Board Sub-Committee Membership: Governance Working Group and Finance, Audit & Risk Committee


Brian Juliff | Member Elected Director
Brian joined the board in September 2020. Now Chairman of Wales Rugby League, he made 8 appearances for Wales between 1979 and 1985 in a career spanning 270 professional Rugby League appearances for clubs including Wakefield Trinity, Wigan, Castleford and Halifax, with whom he was a Challenge Cup winner in 1987. Professionally Brian is a business and management consultant.
Board Sub-Committee Membership: Finance, Audit & Risk Committee, Commercial Committee, European Club Competition Working Group


Graeme Thompson | Member Elected Director
The RFL’s former Performance Director and England team manager during the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, Graeme, a former Scotland rugby league international, was elected to the ERL Board in 2010. He has been the Performance Director for GB Curling, having also served as the performance director for GB water polo. Graeme is an ERL representative on the IRL Board.
Board Sub-Committee Membership: Remuneration & Nominations Committee.


Alison O'Brien | RFL Appointed Director
Currently Director of Insight & Customer at the Rugby Football League, Alison represents the Rugby Football League on the board of European Rugby League, having worked for the governing body in England since 2015. Prior to joining the RFL, Alison worked in insight and strategy roles with major FMCG companies and food retailers in the UK.
Board Sub-Committee Membership: Remuneration & Nominations Committee, Governance Working Group


Luc Lacoste | FFRXIII Appointed Director
Elected president of FFRXIII in December 2020 with a landslide vote, Luc simultaneously joined the ERL Board. A native of Bordeaux, but resident in Paris for over 25 years having spent 4 years in London as a student, Luc’s business interests previously included being CEO of a major car parts company which was sold in 2008 and since then he has focused on investment works. Luc was also previously
Board Sub-Committee Membership: Commercial Working Group,  Governance Working Group

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