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Castle's tumultuous tenure ends as Rugby Australia CEO resigns

The decision comes soon after 11 former Wallabies captains called for change.

RUGBY AUSTRALIA CEO Raelene Castle has resigned from her position after losing the support of the union’s board.

Castle’s decision to step down comes hot on the heels of of 11 former Wallabies captains, including George Gregan, George Smith and Michael Lynagh, penning a letter calling for reform of Australian rugby.

The letter claimed that “the Australian game has lost its way” due to “poor administration and leadership over a number of years.”

rugby-australia-presser Castle has resigned. Source: AAP/PA Images

Castle’s resignation comes with Aussie rugby in deep financial trouble, a situation that has been greatly accentuated by the Covid-19 crisis putting rugby on hold. World Rugby will be required to provide financial assistance to keep Rugby Australia afloat.

Castle’s tumultuous two-and-a-half-year tenure involved an expensive legal battle following the sacking of Israel Folau, while Australia were knocked out of last year’s World Cup at the quarter-final stage.

The 48-year-old had hired New Zealander Dave Rennie as the new Wallabies coach after Michael Cheika’s departure following the World Cup.

“I love rugby on every level and I will always love the code and the people I have had the honour of working with since I took this role,” said Castle in a statement shared by Rugby Australia.

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“I made it clear to the board that I would stand up and take the flack and do everything possible to serve everyone’s best interests.

“In the last couple of hours it has been made clear to me that the board believes my no longer being the CEO would help give them the clear air they believe they need.

“The game is bigger than any one individual – so this evening I told the Chair that I would resign from the role. I will do whatever is needed to ensure an orderly handover.

“I wish the code and everyone who loves rugby nothing but the best and I would like to thank the people I work with and the broader rugby community for their enormous support.”

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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