Australia's Castle shatters rugby union glass ceiling

Rugby Australia Announce New CEO

Highly-regarded sports administrator Raelene Castle has today been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Rugby Australia.

Rugby Australia Chairman, Cameron Clyne said Castle was the standout applicant from a list of over 200 candidates which included sporting and business leaders from across the globe.

It was a historic moment in world rugby when Raelene Castle was named as the first woman chief executive of a national governing body Tuesday.

"I am especially looking forward to getting out into the rugby communities across Australia and meeting the diverse range of people that make the game tick", she told reporters at a news conference in Sydney.

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Australian Super Rugby sides lost all 26 matches against New Zealand opposition this year which has led to a decline in fan interest that is believed to have been carried through to the national team. "There's people from both who are really delivering, particularly at grassroots level", Castle, also a former Netball New Zealand chief, said.

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Castle said she was "honoured" to have been offered the position.

Parry said it was exciting to see opportunities for women in both forms of the game.

Australia have launched bids to host the men's Rugby World Cup in 2027 and the women's event in 2021. "My experience in rugby league was very strong; I don't expect my experience in rugby union to be any different".

"It's a unique landscape, so having had four years here - the cultural challenges, the opportunities, where the media fit into that landscape - and also the opportunity, having always watched everything across rugby no matter where it was happening here, having an understanding of that, has been really helpful". Less than two months later, she will get her first taste of the professional game as Rugby Australia chief when the revised 15-team Super Rugby competition kicks off in late February.

Castle was born in Australia and moved to New Zealand as a child, returning to Sydney in 2013 to take the job at the Bulldogs.

"It has been a very big year, it has been a challenging year, and this is about some stability moving forward", Castle said.

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