Rugby: NZ Rugby Chairman Brent Impey stepping down in coming months

Big changes are coming at New Zealand Rugby with chairman Brent Impey stepping down in the coming months, relinquishing the role he has held since 2014.

Impey also recently stepped aside as chairman of Sanzar in November as he weighs up his future after a turbulent past 12 months. 

"In December I advised the board that my intention was to focus on a succession plan for the role of chairman of New Zealand Rugby, which I have held for seven years" Impey told Stuff on Thursday.

"As such it is my intention to step down from the role in the coming months and a formal announcement will be at the appropriate time."

He recently received chemotherapy for cancer in 2020 as well as steering NZ Rugby through a troubled period due to COVID-19.

It was always Impey's dream job to work with the rugby union and he has had a special eight years.  

He's been a part of New Zealand's most successful years of rugby whilst also currently exploring the opportunity of private investment and trying to get Moana Pasifika included in Super Rugby from 2022.  

New Zealand Rugby are in for a busy 2021 with multiple important decisions needed to be made. 

The next AGM is in April where two board roles are currently advertised - one for an 'appointed' position chosen by the board and one for a 'nominated' position (Māori representative) where candidates are put forward by the provincial unions or the NZ Māori Rugby Board.  

On top of this, All Blacks coach Ian Foster's contract is up at the end of 2021 and after an unsuccessful first year in charge, NZ Rugby will have to decide if he is their man to lead them to the 2023 Rugby World Cup. 

There is still a chance Impey won't be lost straight away once he steps away from his chairman role. He is allowed to stay with NZ Rugby as he has a 10-year term limit. 

This means he could stay on until April 2022 and serve as a director to help guide NZ Rugby through a tricky period.