Contenders to replace New Zealand Rugby boss Steve Tew, when he finishes in December, will not be in short supply. While the role is daunting, given New Zealand's financial challenges on a global scale, managing the national game is the dream job for many. Candidates will apply from well outside the rugby sphere but this is a sport that tends to appoint from within. Liam Napier runs the rule over some who may put their hands up.
Long believed to be groomed as Tew's successor and, therefore, a likely contender.
Schooled in Opunake, the humble Taranaki surf town, Robinson moved to Christchurch for his provincial rugby and went on to play nine tests in the midfield for the All Blacks between 2000 and 2002.
He also played in the United States and Japan, and traversed the amateur to professional era.
Returning home he assumed the Taranaki Rugby Union chief executive role for five years, before being elected to the NZ Rugby board in 2013, serving as the delegate on World Rugby's executive committee from the following year.
Last year, alongside Farah Palmer, Robinson played a key role in securing New Zealand the hosting rights for the women's World Cup in 2021.
Outside rugby, he has consulted in the education, environment, energy and agriculture fields.
Recently relocated to Cambridge, which may complicate the Wellington-based role.
Would surely love to skip the Tasman Sea about now.
When Castle took the Australian Rugby Union (now Rugby Australia) top job from Bill Pulver two years ago it was always thought she did with the hope of springboarding into Tew's position.
After six years leading New Zealand Netball, Castle has forged pioneering roles in traditional male domains.
She is the first female head of both an NRL club, and the madcap RA.
Her five years at the Bulldogs were not remembered fondly by all, though, with salary cap issues hovering over the Sydney club.
Castle now finds herself embroiled in the ugly Israel Folau saga, with the sacked Wallabies star suing RA to the tune of $10 million for apparent wrongful dismissal.
Navigating the political world of the volatile Australian codes, dealing with the likes of Des Hasler, is not easy.
Castle has a thick skin, and plenty on her plate, but it would surprise if she doesn't apply.
Dr Farah Palmer
Captained the Black Ferns to three successive World Cup crowns, playing 35 tests at hooker between 2006 and 2016, at a time when the women's game received little acknowledgement or support.
Inducted into World Rugby's hall of fame, Palmer gained further recognition when the Farah Palmer Cup was established, contested by New Zealand's provincial XVs teams.
Palmer was the first woman appointed to the New Zealand Rugby board in 2016.
She also serves on the Sport New Zealand and Maori rugby boards.
An accomplished, eloquent speaker in her role as Massey University lecturer, someone with obvious mana, her emotive pitch formed a major factor in winning the right to host the women's Rugby World Cup over Australia in 2021.
Started climbing rugby's corporate ladder from Whangarei.
Lee, Hurricanes chief executive for the past three years, began his administrative ride with the Northland Rugby Union.
Five years at New Zealand Rugby followed, working as broadcasting and commercial operations manager from 2008 to 2012.
He then moved to Dublin to become World Rugby sevens general manager.
Young in a head chief executive sense, Lee brings commercial nous that could be valued at this juncture.
Knows the competing dynamics high-performance rugby entails.
Comfortable in the board room and with players.
The longest-serving chief executive in New Zealand Super Rugby history, having held that role at the Crusaders for 17 years, Riach switched to lead the Ashburton District Council in 2018.
Riach replaced Tew in late 2001 and while he wasn't always the best on the public relations front, the unrivalled success of the Crusaders – six titles and four lost finals in his extended tenure – aids credentials, should he throw his hat in the ring.
Riach was blessed with brilliant coaches and players but also had to help pilot challenging years such as the 2011 earthquake-hit campaign.
Joined New Zealand Rugby and moved into the chief operating officer role from BP after working in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
A chartered accountant by trade, Nicol is Tew's close aide with responsibilities stretching across strategy, finance, communications, legal, event management, respect and inclusion.
May fancy a crack at contesting Tew's seat.
Somewhat of a wildcard candidate, and possibly one more for the future, but as NZR's head of professional rugby Lendrum sits across the major issues facing the game.
His portfolio includes overseeing contracting, retention, brokering pay arrangements with the Players' Association, integrity, conduct and player welfare.
He is an exponent of progressive and creative thinking, and also serves as a director of Cricket Wellington.
Boasts a wealth of governance experience, including that as chief executive of New Zealand Cricket, Rugby New Zealand, the organisation responsible for running the 2011 World Cup, Duco Events and the Tourism Industry Association.
Currently leading New Zealand Cricket's 'One Cricket' project, which aims to restructure the game and keep it viable for future generations.
Snedden is adept at negotiating major events rights but may not satisfy the need for a new perspective at NZR headquarters.
Leftfield, for sure. But in the age of ever-evolving digital technology the former Spark boss, who resigned suddenly in April after seven years at the helm, could have a dig.
New Zealand Rugby relies heavily on broadcast revenue and may benefit from his experience with a company that won the rights to screen this year's World Cup in Japan.