As far as rugby league administrators go, they don't come much better than John Ribot.

The Warriors have long hoped to replicate the success of heavyweight NRL clubs Brisbane and Melbourne and have reached out to the man who got both clubs started to help them in their pursuit of excellence.

The foundation CEO of the Broncos and the founding father and inaugural Storm boss – one of the most experienced and respected sports administrators in Australasia - will visit Auckland next month to share his knowledge and expertise with the Warriors board.

The former architect and head honcho of the Super League has accepted an invitation from Warriors CEO Cameron George, who believes Ribot will provide the club's management with invaluable advice and direction on how to achieve long-term success.


The initiative follows the club's moves to bolster the playing group with experienced campaigners such as Tohu Harris and Blake Green, and enhance their football department through the acquisitions of high performance guru Alex Corvo and general manager of football Brian Smith.

George believes the Warriors can similarly benefit from an association with Ribot, who can advise the club on how to improve their governance practices and maximise commercial opportunities.

"As a club we are continually looking to learn and improve and to do so sometimes you need to lean on people who have been there before you and done it to find out what works," said George.

"John Ribot knows and understands what the best systems and structures are to help our organisation progress into the future and he clearly has all the attributes we need when we want to talk to someone to learn about all things rugby league."

Ribot's input comes as the Warriors settle in under the new ownership of the Carlaw Heritage Trust and Autex Industries, who in May purchased the club from former owner Eric Watson.

The club's board currently consists of six members with Bruce Cameron, Kevin McDonald, Cameron McGregor and Selwyn Pearson representing the trust, and Rob Croot and Mark Robinson serving on behalf of Autex.

Combined the group boast strong connections to Auckland Rugby League and the wider national game and possess strong business acumen, but Ribot has almost unrivalled experience at NRL level and knows football clubs inside and out.

"We have very capable people in the organisation from owners down but you can't buy experience," said George.


"And a lot of our people have vast experience within New Zealand rugby league and business while John obviously has significant NRL and international rugby league experience.

"We'd be fools if we pass up the opportunity to learn from one of the best administrators and governance men in Australasian sport.

"He's always been really fond of the Warriors. Obviously the Broncos played in our first game in 1995 and he's always kept a close eye on the progress of the club.

"He was more than willing to help and to our board's credit they are certainly embracing the opportunity as well, which demonstrates to me and the organisation that we're all in it together and we're going to get better."

Ribot's time as an administrator at the Broncos (1988-1995) saw him continually at loggerheads with the New South Wales Rugby League, which he believed were too Sydney-centric and reluctant to expand the game.

After resigning from his post, the former Queensland and Kangaroos wing presented his vision for a breakaway competition to Rupert Murdoch and with the backing of News Ltd launched the Super League (1996-1997).

Once the Australian Rugby League merged with Super League to form the NRL, Ribot secured the franchise to establish a club in Melbourne for the re-united premiership in 1998.

He was undaunted by the prospect of taking the 13-man game into AFL heartland and was intent on building on what he had achieved in Brisbane.

"We always wanted to be better than the Broncos," Ribot explained in an interview on the Storm's website last year.

"We weren't trying to be arrogant saying that, a lot of people thought it was a big statement to make but I don't apologise for that.

"If you surround yourself with great people and they want to work for your club then it is amazing what you can achieve.

"Everything we did was about creating a club and creating a culture where people are used to winning."

Success has followed Ribot wherever he has landed and George hopes his wisdom can help steer the Warriors on a similar path.

"He set those organisations up with the right structures and created the right environments to provide long term and sustainable success.

"Both of those clubs are powerhouses in the NRL so we're going to be fortunate enough to have the man who instigated that sitting in front of us and telling us how he did it."