Raelene Castle set to become new Rugby Australia boss

Raelene Castle set to become new Rugby Australia boss

Rugby Australia Chairman Cameron Clyne announced the appointment Tuesday, saying Castle was the standout applicant among more than 200 candidates.

Raelene Castle is set to become Rugby Australia's new chief executive and the first female boss of an Australian football code.

"The reality is sport has gender equity in it", Castle said. Prior to that she headed up Netball New Zealand.

"It would come as no surprise to see it, and I think Rugby Australia would be lucky to have her".

Castle is a well-respected administrator and was the first female boss of an NRL club before resigning in May.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew hailed her appointment as heralding "a new era for worldwide rugby". Former Wallabies captain Phil Kearns was believed to be the other frontrunner for the position. The crowning legacy from her run in charge across the ditch was the Trans-Tasman Netball competition which gathered heavy support, although the competition is now defunct.

"We congratulate Raelene on her appointment, which is an acknowledgement of her strength as a leader, and her ability to drive success both on and off the field", he said. "In talking to Raelene, and those who have worked with her over her successful sports administration career, it is clear that she fosters environments of collaboration and high performance, always leading by example".

"Rugby is a sport for everybody and there are numerous opportunities for both male and female athletes, whether you're at a social level, competitive level or an global level", Castle told a news conference in Sydney.

Castle said she was looking forward to the road ahead.

In the meantime Castle will sit on a two-person panel that will review the New Zealand Rugby League team's premature exit from the recent World Cup.

With changes to the format of Super Rugby next season, Rugby Australia (or the ARU as they were known at the time) faced the hard decision of cutting one team from the competition.

When confirming in August that Perth's Western Force was being cut from Super Rugby, Pulver said he would stand down once a replacement was found.

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