After an absence of 34 years, Wanganui rugby will have a voice on a major New Zealand Rugby Union committee.
Jeff Phillips, Wanganui RFU chairman since 2015, was this week named as one of three union chairmen on the important six-man NZRU Appointments and Remunerations Committee.
The other two union chairmen on the committee are sitting members Stuart Mathes (Auckland) and Wayne Young (Tasman).
Phillips replaces Mid Canterbury chairman Gerrard Rushton as a Heartland unions' representative.
Still to be appointed is the NZRU representative and two independent members.
The A and R committee considers all nominations and recommends candidates for the offices of the Elected Board members, appoints the Nominated Board members, and recommends the maximum annual amount of renumeration for Board members and officers for consideration at the NZRU annual meeting.
Phillips, a local electrical company director, served on the WRFU board for three years before becoming chairman in 2015.
He played representative rugby for Wanganui in 1994-95 as a lock, won senior and premier club titles with champion Kaierau teams and is a life member of that club.
Phillips joins Tauranga-based former Wanganui All Black Bill Osborne, who will have a third term as NZ president next season, as a national official.
The presidency is usually a two-year appointment but because of the disjointed 2020 Covid-19 affected rugby season it has been extended to three years.
The last Wanganui officials to hold major NZRU committee appointments were national councillors Brian Vaughan (1986), JJ Stewart (1985-86) and Paul Mitchell (1979-83).
Stewart was also an All Black selector-coach in 1973-77 and Mitchell was All Black manager in 1983