Troubled RA hits 'reset' button with new chairman
NEWS: Rugby Australia on Friday named former TV executive Hamish McLennan as director and chairman-elect to lead the sport through a crisis deepened by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Hamish’s appointment marks a new era as we reset Rugby Australia and our game with a focus on the future,” said interim chairman Paul McLean.
McLennan will lead a sport in disarray, with the Wallabies languishing at seventh rank in the world and Rugby Australia facing financial difficulties as well as fierce competition from other codes.
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.@RugbyAU has today announced the appointment of Hamish McLennan as a Director and Chairman-elect, to be welcomed officially on to the Board at its June 15 meeting.
— Rugby Australia (@RugbyAU) May 15, 2020
The game has effectively been shut down during the coronavirus pandemic, but plans have been drawn up to restart play around early July.
“I am looking forward to working with the board to rebuild trust across the rugby community, in particular the grassroots game, to our member unions and the professional code and I am encouraged by the positive signs of collaboration,” McLennan said.
“Rugby has a deep heritage and strong community support in Australia, and everyone wants to see our Wallabies consistently win again. I think the Rugby World Cup bid for 2027 creates an enormous opportunity for the country.”
McLennan arrives after a period of extraordinary upheaval for Rugby Australia which has included the resignation of chief executive Raelene Castle a month ago and the sudden departure last week of another director, Peter Wiggs, who had been widely tipped to become the next chairman.