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Mon 9 Dec 2019 | 11:59

Castle not going anywhere insists RA

Castle not going anywhere insists RA
Mon 9 Dec 2019 | 11:59
Castle not going anywhere insists RA
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Rugby Australia has played down one of its most tumultuous years, and reassured that Raelene Castle’s role as Chief executive is under no threat.

The peak body in Australia issued a statement following its final board meeting of the year in Sydney on Monday but it barely touched on the long-running Israel Folau saga.

Last Wednesday RA apologised to and reached a settlement with Folau over his sacking, following an Instagram post which said “hell awaits” gay people.

Chief executive Castle said the settlement amount was confidential but described reports – some of which were as high as $8 million – as “wildly inaccurate”.

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In Monday’s statement RA chairman Cameron Clyne only mentioned the Folau issue and potential hurdles with a new pay television deal in the last three paragraphs of the 528-word statement.

Instead he spoke about participation growth in the code; the Junior Wallabies and Wallaroos; and the overall success of the World Cup in Japan.

Australia disappointingly departed in the quarter-final stage of the World Cup after being thrashed by England, coach Michael Cheika’s final match in charge.

There was no mention of Cheika in the statement but Clyne went on to point out how popular the appointment of new mentor Dave Rennie was.

“The hard work has already begun for the Wallabies as we build towards France 2023, and we are excited for the future after securing Dave Rennie as the new Wallabies head coach,” Clyne said.

“It was encouraging to see the rugby community embrace Dave’s appointment with 86 percent of Facebook followers and 70 percent of Instagram followers reacting positively to the news last month.”

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Clyne finally re-iterated Castle was not in the firing line despite the Folau imbroglio, before touching on the future pay-television deal which appears to be in the balance.

“Raelene’s position is not in question and the board is united behind the process undertaken with Israel Folau,” he said.

“2020 is an important year with the broadcast rights negotiations underway and we remain in dialogue with our long-term partner Fox Sports as we aim to deliver the strongest levels of coverage for all of our competitions over the next five-year cycle.”

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Castle Not Going Anywhere Insists Ra - Australia | Rugby365