The Queensland Rugby League board has today appointed Ben Ikin as chief executive officer.
Ikin brings a wealth of rugby league knowledge to the position, having fulfilled numerous roles at community, state and national league level following his retirement as an elite player who represented both Queensland and Australia.
A former Fox Sports presenter, Ikin is a respected rugby league figure who is passionate about delivering game models, competitions and pathways that drive growth and engagement.
While previously serving as an independent director on the QRL board, Ikin led the Pathways and Performance Committee and was instrumental in the implementation of the National Player Development Framework.
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.
Ikin 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.
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.
“Ben has a thorough understanding of our people and these competitions and pathways, and knows what is needed for rugby league to grow and prosper in the years to come.”
Ikin 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.”
Prior to embarking on a highly successful career in the media, Ikin played 150 NRL games from 1995-2004 for the Gold Coast Seagulls, North Sydney Bears and Brisbane Broncos.
He was a key member of the Broncos’ premiership-winning team that defeated the Sydney Roosters in the 2000 grand final.
A passionate Queenslander who started his league journey in the Gold Coast junior ranks, Ikin famously became the youngest player in State of Origin history when he was chosen for the Maroons during the 1995 season.
He went onto make 17 State of Origin appearances for Queensland and played two Tests for the Kangaroos.
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.