Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

Western Force part ways with CEO Tony Lewis

By AAP
Western Force players celebrate a win. Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images

The Western Force are on the lookout for a new chief executive after parting ways with Tony Lewis.

ADVERTISEMENT

Lewis was lured to the Super Rugby club in 2021 with one massive task – to turn the Perth-based franchise into a world rugby powerhouse.

But his tenure has lasted less than three years, with the Force informing Lewis this week that his services were no longer needed.

Video Spacer

Video Spacer

Billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest owns the Force.

His Fortescue Metals Group has lost a series of top executives in recent months, but it’s understood the decision to axe Lewis is completely separate from what is happening at FMG.

“After three seasons, Tony Lewis has moved on from the position of Western Force CEO,” a Force spokesperson said.

“The Force is now a critical part of Super Rugby.

“We are focused on driving the club’s continued success for our members and fans, as well as continuing to help grow rugby in WA.”

Niamh O’Connor, who joined the Force board last week, has been named as interim chief executive.

ADVERTISEMENT

O’Connor is also the director of the Future Force Foundation and a Rugby Western Australia board member.

Related

Lewis was a highly respected NZ rugby administrator when he was lured to the Force in 2021.

The challenge of turning the Force into a powerhouse excited Lewis.

“It’s one of the best contracts I’ve ever signed,” Lewis said shortly after joining the Force

“In essence, no real job description, just 10 points and from my perspective, that’s what he (Forrest) wants, that’s what we’ve got to achieve.

“The key ones are strong community base, best team in Australia, best team in the Australia-New Zealand conference, best team in the southern hemisphere, best club team in the world.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We’ve got to know our place in the ecosystem here and quietly go about our business and become the No.1 rugby state in Australia and move onto the next.”

Those lofty ambitions are yet to come to fruition, with the Force struggling to become an on-field power.

Despite eight of 12 teams qualifying for the finals in the remodelled Super Rugby Pacific format, the Force have missed out in each of the past two seasons.

Coach Simon Cron, who is entering his second season at the helm, has been boosted by the arrival of Wallabies halfback Nic White, former All Black Atu Moli, Ben Donaldson, Lopefi Taifua, Harry Hoopert, Will Harris and Harry Potter for the 2024 campaign.

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

1 Comment
G
Gareth 295 days ago

That's a shame, met Tony a few times & always had time for a chat - wonder what happened ?

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

J
Jon 25 minutes ago
Buoyant England travel to New Zealand full of hope but are they walking into an All Blacks ambush?

> New head coach Scott Robertson has kept only forwards coach Jason Ryan and conditioning coach Nic Gill from the previous regime *and so there is little institutional knowledge inherent in the new team.* Shows you what the English know about sport. Isn’t just fantastic that the best rugby team, or brand, on the planet has three brothers playing together? One a bull, the other a dancer, and last a .. boxer? Looks like a boxer bless him. > But Robertson has been working to fix that issue, with senior players and coaches having been regularly meeting to work out how they will operate together both on and off the field to ensure there is strong decision-making and a deep understanding of how the team wants to play. Have they? I would suggest then it is not a case of fixing things, that is not what Razor does. Razor will evolve the relationship between player and coach into a more symbiotic relationship. This wont be a coach that shouts down at his players theyre not doing good enough. I can imagine one of the first key areas he will be implementing is the respective leadership for each coaching group. Tight five, Loosies, Halves, Centers, and Back Three, will each have their own leadership team and an agile approach to the playing group relaying what they believe is happening on the training paddock, and in games. It will be a very big step to get everyone involved, able, and thinking about contributing to that process, but I believe a very beneficial one if successful. > England may have their best chance to win in 21 years, but they may also be walking into an ambush – *about to be hit* by a young, gifted, supremely physical and athletic All Blacks team coached by a man who has made every post a winner so far in his career and has this uncanny knack of getting the best out of people. Or, by a group hurting from not getting over the line and proving to everyone they are the best in the world, full of experience and cohesion, grit and motivation. You only need to look at someone like Patrick Tuipulotu to see someone with a fire under his belly from missing out on the last RWC due to injury, and having lost to this opposition in the previous one. It will be very interesting to see how this ‘Razor’ plays it. Does he stick with the traditional and protect the time honored All Black values of commitment, or does he evolve and pick the best players to win the Rugby Championship - and by association this test series - like Akira Ioane?

4 Go to comments
TRENDING
TRENDING 'I thought he was outstanding... exceptional': Warren Gatland singles out Wales star 'I thought he was outstanding... exceptional': Gatland hails star
Search