Raelene Castle appointed as Rugby Australia CEO

Ross Houston
December 13, 2017

Australia co-hosted the first-ever Rugby World Cup in 1987 with New Zealand and is up against South Africa and Argentina for the 2027 edition.

The New Zealander was announced as Bill Pulver's successor as chief executive at RA's new Sydney headquarters at Moore Park on Tuesday.

A former corporate marketing and communications executive in New Zealand, Castle led the country's national body for netball for six years before moving back to Australia to take over the Bulldogs in 2013.

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"Having followed rugby closely for over 30 years and having worked in the New Zealand and Australian sporting environments for the past 10, there is no doubt Australian rugby has a clear worldwide and domestic offering for both male and female athletes that can be further developed and strengthened".

"I am really proud and excited about this competition launching next year and what this means for the game in Australia", she said.

"It genuinely is an exciting sport that has an worldwide landscape that no other sport in Australia has".

"My experience in rugby league was very strong".

"(The Bulldogs) really helped me understand the Australian sporting landscape.

"So I don't think it's enormous step to have a female chief executive".

One of Castle's first priorities will be to forge a working relationship with Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, who is renowned for being a volatile character - highlighted by his recent television interview with an English reporter following Australia's loss to England at Twickenham.

"Raelene impressed the board with her vision for rugby and her clear understanding of what needs to be done to strengthen and unite the code at all levels", RA chairman Cameron Clyne said. "And we need Super Rugby to be strong, I'll be working closely with the CEOs in those franchises to make sure we can all bring our collective thoughts together to make sure they're as successful as possible, be it on the field or also attracting members and making those events something that people want to attend".

"Raelene will bring a fresh set of eyes to the challenges and opportunities at Rugby Australia, bringing to us her learnings from other codes".

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