Another sports administration history as Australia new rugby boss confirmed

By: Radio New Zealand


eight_col_Raelene_CastleFormer Canterbury NRL chief executive Raelene Castle has been confirmed as Rugby Australia’s new boss in another piece of sports administration history.

Castle will replace outgoing chief executive Bill Pulver in 2018.

Pulver announced his resignation in August following the shambolic handling of the Western Force’s axing from the Super Rugby competition.

Castle will take up her post on January 15, becoming the first female boss of any of the national governing bodies of the four major football codes in Australia.

She was the first female CEO of an NRL club (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs) and stepped down from the role in May.

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.

“Raelene is an extremely impressive executive who covered every base as far as what the Board was looking for in a Chief Executive Officer to lead our game into an important new chapter.

“She offers an incredible wealth of experience in sports administration and business, with an outstanding track record in commercial, marketing and communications roles.

“Through her most recent roles as CEO of the Bulldogs and Netball New Zealand, Raelene has led sporting organisations at both a national and club level, giving her an in-depth understanding of what it takes to run a national sporting body as well as the unique challenges for clubs and the importance of building strong relationships and a unity of purpose within a sporting code.

“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. 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.

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

Australian Rugby Union boss Bill Pulver

Australian Rugby Union boss Bill Pulver Photo: PHOTOSPORT

“I am honoured to be joining Rugby Australia and bringing to it my commercial and sports management and marketing experience, ” Castle said.

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

“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.”

Before beginning her career in sports administration with Netball New Zealand in 2007, Castle was a successful communications and marketing executive in the corporate sector. She is a former head of business marketing at Telecom NZ, communications manager at Bank of New Zealand and a marketing manager for Fuji Xerox.

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