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Asia Pacific Rugby League Confederation (APRLC) has appointed experienced sports administrator Jeremy Edwards to the new position of Chief Operating Officer as the code continues to grow in one of its most dynamic regions.

Mr Edwards has been promoted to the role after three years as the International Rugby League’s Southern Hemisphere General Manager. His career in sports administration includes roles with the Beijing and London Olympics and Paralympics, European Games and the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

The appointment signals another step in the growth of the APRLC, which boasts seven nations among the 16 qualifiers for the Rugby League World Cup 2021. Those nations are Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands, Tonga and Samoa.

The Philippines and Japan have recently joined as APRLC members while the Confederation continues to oversee significant growth in South America where Brazil, Chile and Colombia are APRLC members.

“This is a very exciting time for our game in the Asia Pacific region and the appointment of Jeremy Edwards acknowledges the opportunities ahead,” Asia Pacific Rugby League Chairman Sandis Tsaka said.

“Jeremy brings a wealth of sports experience to the role along with his detailed knowledge of rugby league.”

Mr Edwards is based in Brisbane, working with members across the breadth of the Confederation.

“It’s a vast region and it has great potential for the continued growth of this great game,” Mr Edwards said.

“The Confederation will be well represented in this year’s World Cup and we have growth areas across the Asia Pacific area. The inaugural South American rugby league championships are set for Colombia next February which is exciting news.”

Mr Edwards said the APRLC continued to work closely with the National Rugby League on joint opportunities on and off the field.