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Opinion

Who should take the helm at Rugby Australia?

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Roar Pro
26th April, 2020
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Now that Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle has left the top job before she was booted into touch, a long list of contenders for the CEO position has arisen.

While the decision-making process should be a considered effort, time is of the essence, as the game will be without a broadcasting deal in the not too distant future. This is on the back of the coronavirus crisis that has gripped the world and brought all sport to a standstill.

Rugby in this country faces an uncertain future among the top-tier of winter codes available to the public to consume.

Here is a list of the current contenders with one addition who seems to be able to run any sport he puts his hand to. While this is not a diverse or exhaustive list, it’s is a realistic look at those who are available and could potentially steer the game for the next few years.

Peter Wiggs
A recent addition to the Rugby Australia board, joining just three weeks ago. He was charged with negotiating the pay deal with players and quickly came to a resolution with the players union to resolve the situation. He brings with him an impressive business background, which the game desperately needs at the moment, coming from private equity fund Archer Capital, which he founded. He also has a background in sport administration, having recently come from the Supercars.

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Daniel Herbert
The former Wallaby has experience as a top-level player and administrator, making him hard to ignore. He held a number of positions with the Queensland Reds before moving to become the CEO of Queensland property company SSKB.

Nick Farr-Jones
Rugby royalty, having captained the Wallabies to World Cup glory. He was chairman of NSW Rugby but left the post in controversial circumstances. However, he does have an impressive corporate background, having worked for Societe Generale for many years, and is now with Taurus Funds Management.

Phil Kearns
A current Fox Sports commentator, former Wallaby Kearns failed in his bid to take the top job in 2017. A savvy operator, he was in a key position to take the role until Wiggs came on the scene. He’s one of 11 former Wallabies to sign the infamous letter of no confidence in Castle, so he clearly doesn’t lack the nerve to take on the big issues.

Todd Greenberg
An outsider but a pick from out of the box if ever there was one. Castle and Greenberg seem to follow in each other’s footsteps, and at least he knows the way to HQ being opposite his former digs at the NRL.

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David Gallop
Is he currently retired or just waiting for his next opportunity? Gallop is used to the cut and thrust of running a political game. Having run the NRL and Football Federation Australia, Gallop is regarded as one of the most experienced operators in the business. A safe pair of hand, though not a rugby person.

James Sutherland
Cricket Australia CEO for 17 years, he knows how to deal with competing interests. He used to running a global sport – maybe this is the appointment that the games needs. He would represent new blood and new thinking in these uncertain times.