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Peponis, Politis quit NSWRL board

The NSW Rugby League is in turmoil after two of the game’s most powerful men suddenly quit the board on Friday afternoon.

Nick Politis and George Peponis both left with immediate effect after a two-week legal stoush ended in drama.

Cronulla CEO Dino Mezzatesta had initially applied to run for the board when nominations closed on February 11, creating a three-horse race for two metropolitan spots.

Those positions were previously held by Politis and Geoff Gerard, before Mezzatesta’s application was queried based on being a Cronulla employee as the club’s CEO.

The NSWRL then sought legal advice before being told that Mezzatesta could not apply on Friday and his application for election to the board was withdrawn.

It meant that Politis and Gerard were elected unopposed on Friday, as well as country representatives John Anderson and Bob Walsh.

Two independents were also appointed, with Deborah Healy losing her spot on the board.

That outcome and the Mezzetesta news infuriated Politis and Peponis, who then resigned their roles.

The issue has already caught the attention of ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys, who has indicated he will investigate if asked to.

Roosters supremo Politis has served on the NSWRL board since 2013, and his position at the Tri-colours is different to that of Mezzatesta at Cronulla given he is chairman and not employed by the club.

Peponis has, meanwhile, been NSWRL chairman since 2013, and would have been up for re-election at a bord meeting next Tuesday.

He is a former NSW captain.

The Blues have won four men’s State of Origin during the tenure of Peponis and a new Centre of Excellence was opened at Homebush.

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