Castle new Rugby Australia boss: reports

121 Have your say

    Former Canterbury NRL chief executive Raelene Castle is reportedly to take over as Rugby Australia’s new boss and make another piece of sports administration history.

    » Rugby AU confirm Castle as new CEO
    » Raelene Castle ticks the right boxes, but does she tick the crucial ones?

    A number of media outlets reported late on Monday evening and early Tuesday morning that New Zealander Castle would be appointed to succeed incumbent chief executive Bill Pulver.

    Announcing in August that Perth’s Western Force was being cut from Super Rugby, Pulver said he would stand down once a replacement was found.

    His contract is due to expire next February and it is not yet clear if he will see out his tenure

    Rugby Australia has yet to confirm the Castle’s appointment, with News Corp Australia reporting it will be announced on Tuesday.

    If confirmed, Castle would become 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 and stepped down from the role in May.

    Prior to that she headed up Netball New Zealand.

    At the Bulldogs, Castle oversaw three finals appearances, including 2014’s losing grand final.

    But her final year at the club was less successful as coach Des Hasler was re-signed for two years in April before being sacked after the club finished 11th.

    The debacle led to Hasler taking the Bulldogs to court, seeking $2 million in damages after allegedly being told his contract was not binding.

    Pulver has also endured a difficult 2017, with much of the anger over the Western Force’s axing from Super Rugby directed towards the Sydneysider as the struggling Melbourne Rebels were spared.

    © AAP 2018

    Have Your Say



    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (121)

    • December 12th 2017 @ 7:19am
      R2k said | December 12th 2017 @ 7:19am | ! Report

      Fingers crossed she does a good job. I haven’t been overly impressed with her work at theBulldogs or for Netball New Zealand. Pulver and co. have set the bar so low in recent times that she will struggle to be anything but an improvement.

      • December 12th 2017 @ 9:25am
        Rebellion said | December 12th 2017 @ 9:25am | ! Report

        Just what Australian Rugby needs – a NSW administrator who will be another Moore Park Puppet.

        They could’ve done worse than look overseas for this candidate, so divided is the current landscape after Pulver’s failure to show leadership when required

        • December 12th 2017 @ 9:51am
          KiwiHaydn said | December 12th 2017 @ 9:51am | ! Report

          You did read the article and do know she’s a Kiwi right?

          • December 12th 2017 @ 10:31am
            Rebellion said | December 12th 2017 @ 10:31am | ! Report

            A kiwi national but Sydney resident born in NSW

            Not the clean break and fresh start I was hoping for, given the return to the bad old days under Pulver’s stewardship

    • Roar Guru

      December 12th 2017 @ 7:20am
      Wally James said | December 12th 2017 @ 7:20am | ! Report

      It’s a sad day when Australia cannot produce rugby’s best for an Australian position. Having said that, if she has the best administrative skills necessary to do the job, why not?

      • December 12th 2017 @ 7:25am
        James P said | December 12th 2017 @ 7:25am | ! Report

        I think it is bloody good. Someone well outside the Rugby old boys club.

        • December 12th 2017 @ 9:12am
          Bang said | December 12th 2017 @ 9:12am | ! Report

          I agree James. We absolutely need to break away from the idea that the only people who know rugby are the North Shore leather patches and ex-wallaby has-been’s.

          Sports administration is now a professional set of disciplines, we actually should have hired the ex-CEO of FC Barcelona or someone of that ilk.

          All that North Shore-Flat Earth thinking has got us to this point, if we continue down that path, rugby will die.

          Bang.

          • December 12th 2017 @ 9:26am
            Train Without A Station said | December 12th 2017 @ 9:26am | ! Report

            But who says that’s what the idea is.

            I think it’s more so only people from the North Shore type brigade are adequately qualified, but also willing to take the less desirable rugby role, over various other roles which come with much less baggage and public criticism.

      • Roar Guru

        December 12th 2017 @ 7:57am
        PeterK said | December 12th 2017 @ 7:57am | ! Report

        disagree, I am very glad an outsider has been chosen and not one of the old boys network who think rugby starts and ends with nsw and qld and shute shield.

        • December 12th 2017 @ 9:01am
          Train Without A Station said | December 12th 2017 @ 9:01am | ! Report

          Pulver didn’t think that either though.

          It’s basically what started the negativity against him.

          • Roar Guru

            December 12th 2017 @ 11:45am
            PeterK said | December 12th 2017 @ 11:45am | ! Report

            Oh agree, Pulver was targeted because he didn’t bow down to Shute Shield and the overinflated view it was held in.

            This well before the Force fiasco, with the resistance to NRC and so forth by Papworth and co.

            No my reference was more to Kearns who is an old boy who thinks far too much of shute shield and is very NSW centric.

            I was looking forward to the other applicants and not back. Pulver’s support of 7’s, womens rugby , NRC, schools needs more focus and I don’t think someone like Kearns would have done that.

      • Roar Guru

        December 12th 2017 @ 8:13am
        John R said | December 12th 2017 @ 8:13am | ! Report

        She was born in Wagga Wagga m8. She’s as Aussie as Crowded House.

        • Roar Guru

          December 12th 2017 @ 8:55am
          Adam said | December 12th 2017 @ 8:55am | ! Report

          And she beat Phil Kearns to the job so…..double win

          • Roar Rookie

            December 12th 2017 @ 9:27am
            Dave_S said | December 12th 2017 @ 9:27am | ! Report

            But it means Kearns keeps his job as a commentator so … bwaaah bwaaah!

            • Roar Guru

              December 12th 2017 @ 10:03am
              Adam said | December 12th 2017 @ 10:03am | ! Report

              Where he can only harm our ear drums

              • Roar Rookie

                December 12th 2017 @ 10:26am
                Dave_S said | December 12th 2017 @ 10:26am | ! Report

                Yeah mate, but at my age anything that makes you shout at the TV is not good for the ticker, either 🙂

          • December 12th 2017 @ 11:20am
            Marto said | December 12th 2017 @ 11:20am | ! Report

            ” FAKE NEWS ”

            Everyone knows the Knuckledragger himself Chuckles Cheika is the real RA boss and always has been.

    • Roar Guru

      December 12th 2017 @ 7:30am
      Sam Taulelei said | December 12th 2017 @ 7:30am | ! Report

      Castle? Tell ‘em they’re dreaming.

      Bold appointment by the board if true.

      • December 12th 2017 @ 7:36am
        Dave_S said | December 12th 2017 @ 7:36am | ! Report

        Hehe. No Bledisloe Cup going straight to the pool room, Sam?

      • December 12th 2017 @ 8:16am
        Bamboo said | December 12th 2017 @ 8:16am | ! Report

        Perhaps, but theres no middle ground with the alternative (Kearns). People either think hes a great guy or an absolute tosser.

        If emotion was to creep into his frame of mind as the CEO as it does when commentating then Australian Rugby would very quickly deteriorate.

        • Roar Guru

          December 12th 2017 @ 10:39am
          Wal said | December 12th 2017 @ 10:39am | ! Report

          Kearns seems to come across very well until the AB’s are mentioned and then he goes mental and tin foil hat.
          It’s pretty bizarre considering his record against the AB’s was pretty good so the chip on the shoulder isn’t needed.

    • December 12th 2017 @ 7:38am
      Dave_S said | December 12th 2017 @ 7:38am | ! Report

      “But her final year at the club was less successful as coach Des Hasler was re-signed for two years in April before being sacked after the club finished 11th.”

      Well she should fit in at RA quite nicely, then.

      Seriously though, a shake-up of some of the Old Boys could well be the tonic we need. Best of luck, Ma’am.

    • Roar Guru

      December 12th 2017 @ 7:44am
      eagleJack said | December 12th 2017 @ 7:44am | ! Report

      Not a good choice in my opinion. She struggled at the Dogs dealing with egos like Dib and Hasler. She’ll only encounter worse in rugby. We needed someone with strength and runs on the board. But perhaps they didn’t apply? It’s certainly not the glamorous role it used to be.

      Steep learning curve for Raelene. I wish her all the best.

      • Roar Guru

        December 12th 2017 @ 8:00am
        PeterK said | December 12th 2017 @ 8:00am | ! Report

        Thats the issue, it is not an attractive role certainly in terms of remuneration or the state the code is in.

        However it can be used as a very good stepping stone i.e headed a football code.

        A better choice than Kearns or some other old boy though, need a fresh outlook, a new perspective than an insider from NSW.

      • Roar Guru

        December 12th 2017 @ 8:22am
        John R said | December 12th 2017 @ 8:22am | ! Report

        It received over 100 applications,so you’d imagine there were some decent candidates to pick from.

        I imagine she’ll go in full of enthusiasm, and then realise that she can’t change anything without SA and NZ agreeing to it, and that if she pulls away from SANZAAR, then Rugby Australia will become insolvent.

        Then she’ll settle into a nice 4 year tenure of having fans blame her for everything wrong with rugby.

        Or maybe she’ll be super bold, and pull out of SANZAAR and sidle up with the IPRC

        • December 12th 2017 @ 9:01am
          riddler said | December 12th 2017 @ 9:01am | ! Report

          john was that 100 + comment from the oz rugby union by chance?

          • Roar Guru

            December 12th 2017 @ 9:27am
            John R said | December 12th 2017 @ 9:27am | ! Report

            • Roar Rookie

              December 12th 2017 @ 9:35am
              Dave_S said | December 12th 2017 @ 9:35am | ! Report

              Did Bakkies and Ex-forcefan apply, per chance?

              • Roar Guru

                December 12th 2017 @ 9:36am
                John R said | December 12th 2017 @ 9:36am | ! Report

                Twiggy applied aye.

              • December 12th 2017 @ 9:42am
                Bakkies said | December 12th 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

                No TWAS applied for the internal promotion.

              • December 12th 2017 @ 10:02am
                Ex force fan said | December 12th 2017 @ 10:02am | ! Report

                Ha ha…. Clyne and Pulver picked her, so she is already stained by their incompetence even before she starts. Their track record in making dumb decisions and to jump from one crisis to the next.is unprecedented in Australian sport.

                It would have been better for Clyne, Eales and Pulver to resign and excuse themselves so that a real new start can be made.

                This is either a poisoned chalice or Clyne made he got someone he can control. My hope is that she will surprise and be her own woman but cannot see that happening with Clyne hanging around like a bad smell.

              • December 12th 2017 @ 11:27am
                KingCowboy said | December 12th 2017 @ 11:27am | ! Report

                Settle down EFF. Mate I get you are not happy bout your team getting booted but you need to give Castle a chance. Being negative all the time is not going to achieve anything!

              • December 12th 2017 @ 10:32pm
                Ex force fam said | December 12th 2017 @ 10:32pm | ! Report

                settle down once that those that were the architects of the Force fiasco have been kept to account. Clyne, Pulver and Eales need to go and the sooner the better.

        • December 12th 2017 @ 9:04am
          Train Without A Station said | December 12th 2017 @ 9:04am | ! Report

          I’ve heard 250.

          But that means nothing.

          We have hundreds apply for roles where I work. If you’re lucky 10% are close to qualified.

      • Roar Rookie

        December 12th 2017 @ 9:33am
        Dave_S said | December 12th 2017 @ 9:33am | ! Report

        She struggled at the Dogs dealing with egos like Dib and Hasler. She’ll only encounter worse in rugby

        eJ, I wouldn’t count her out on that basis alone. Assuming that’s correct (I don’t know), I’d argue that it was a relatively small number of very key egos at the Dogs, my point being that just because you can’t deal with one or 2 particular people doesn’t man you can’t deal with other big egos. I doubt Netball NZ was all tea parties and toenail painting.

        • Roar Guru

          December 12th 2017 @ 10:05am
          eagleJack said | December 12th 2017 @ 10:05am | ! Report

          Fair call Dave_S. No doubt there are egos and back room politics to deal with in many of these roles.

          I just see the ARU or RA as a bit of a rabble with multiple egos all squabbling with no clear goal. It will be difficult for Raelene and felt her inability to quell key egos at the Bulldogs was telling. She’ll encounter more where she is heading.

          But I do hope she nails it. Rugby needs a strong head in charge and the sport desperately needs to become relevant again in this country.

          • Roar Rookie

            December 12th 2017 @ 10:36am
            Dave_S said | December 12th 2017 @ 10:36am | ! Report

            the ARU or RA as a bit of a rabble with multiple egos all squabbling with no clear goal

            Fair point eJ, rugby in Aus seems to be a special beast in that regard.

            One thing I’ve noticed working in a couple of big organisations with big egos (and allow me a bit of reverse sexism here) – a strong and mature woman seems to have a special ability to command a room full of stuffed shirts. Perhaps its a special look and tone of voice that causes nutsacks to retreat into the groin 🙂 I dunno, but I’m suspecting this could be a good appointment in that sense.

    • Roar Guru

      December 12th 2017 @ 8:00am
      Dogs Of War said | December 12th 2017 @ 8:00am | ! Report

      I don’t think she did too well with the politics behind the scenes at the Bulldogs club. Something the ARU has in spades.

    Explore:
    , , ,