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History making Raelene Castle looks for stability in new Rugby Australia role

History making Raelene Castle looks for stability in new Rugby Australia role
January 16, 2018

Taking up her new role as Chief Executive of Rugby Australia yesterday, Raelene Castle created history as the first woman to lead a major Australian football code.

Castle, whose father captained New Zealand’s rugby league side, officially began her first day leading rugby union on Monday, welcomed with an Indigenous smoking ceremony, symbolic of diversity and inclusion.

With 2017 having been a difficult year for the sport both on and off the field, the former Chief Executive of the Canterbury Bulldogs NRL club and Netball New Zealand is striving for stability and improved performances in super rugby.

Castle explained “there's no doubt there have been challenges in rugby over the last 12 months.

"It's really bringing back those relationships and working together and facing the same direction that's how you move a sport forward.

Looking to repair relationships with the West Australian rugby community and chart a way forward for Western Force backer Andrew Forrest, Castle’s first task will be meeting with Wallabies coach Michael Cheika.

Commenting on the meeting, being held today (Tuesday 16th January), Castle stated “at this stage it's getting to know one another. The relationship between the CEO coach and is incredibly important and it's about making sure we find an engagement that works really well that we can help each other and work closely together.”

Australia's worst ever defeat to Scotland last November saw the Wallabies slide to fourth in the world rankings. However, Castle said she believed the national side still had a strong brand, adding “the Wallabies need to perform, there's no doubt about that.

“For (Cheika) it's important not only that the Wallabies are successful but the building blocks underneath are crucial, so that we continue to produce quality athletes."

Another immediate challenge facing Castle will be addressing Karmichael Hunt's latest drug scandal.

The Queensland Reds back was charged with drug possession last month, two years after he was fined and suspended after pleading guilty to cocaine possession.

Castle did not rule out a future zero tolerance policy on drugs either, adding "the reality for young athletes is that there's a chance to make a mistake and be forgiven for that, but if you keep making mistakes that makes the conversation much more challenging.”

Images: Raelene Castle at the announcement of her appointment as Chief Executive of Rugby Australia (top) and Rugby Australia Chairman Cameron Clyne (below). 

10th January 2018 - NEW RUGBY AUSTRALIA COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT WILL PAY FEMALE TEST PLAYERS FOR FIRST TIME

13th December 2017 - RUGBY AUSTRALIA MAKES HISTORY WITH APPOINTMENT OF RAELENE CASTLE AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE 

12th December 2017 - RUGBY AUSTRALIA REVEALS SIGNIFICANT RISE IN SCHOOL PARTICIPATION PROGRAM

12th December 2017 - RAELENE CASTLE SET TO BE NAMED CHIEF EXECUTIVE AT RUGBY AUSTRALIA 

15th November 2017 - RUGBY AUSTRALIA MADE DECISION TO AXE WESTERN FORCE MONTHS BEFORE FINANCES EXAMINED

28th October 2017 - AUSTRALIAN RUGBY UNION REBRANDS AS RUGBY AUSTRALIA

27th October 2017 - AUSTRALIAN RUGBY AND SPORTS SCIENCE BASE OPENS IN SYDNEY’S MOORE PARK 

6th September 2017 - MINING TYCOON PLANS NEW INDO-PACIFIC RUGBY TOURNAMENT AFTER WESTERN FORCE APPEAL FAILS 

5th September 2017 - WESTERN FORCE FAILS IN COURT APPEAL OVER SUPER RUGBY AXING

20th June 2017 - BILL PULVER TO REMAIN AT ARU AS SUPER RUGBY TEAM STILL FACES AXE

11th April 2017 - ARU REPORTS SURPLUS AND PARTICIPATION GROWTH IN 2016

28th March 2017 - ARU REJECTS ROY MORGAN FINDINGS ON RUGBY PARTICIPATION

23rd March 2017 - MASSIVE DECLINE IN AUSTRALIANS’ PARTICIPATION IN RUGBY, SQUASH AND TENPIN BOWLING 


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