Rugby Australia's chief executive resigns following calls from ex-captains

Castle has stepped down as chief executive of Rugby Australia (PA Images)
Castle has stepped down as chief executive of Rugby Australia (PA Images)
16:41pm, Thu 23 Apr 2020
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

Rugby Australia's chief executive Raelene Castle has stepped down after ten former Australian captain's signed a letter calling for new leadership.

The governing body has been hit with financial difficulties, even before the coronavirus pandemic, and now Castle has resigned as she says the board did not want her to lead them anymore.

In a statement given to ABC, she said: "I love rugby on every level and I will always love the code and the people I have had the honour of working with since I took this role. I made it clear to the board that I would stand up and take the flak and do everything possible to serve everyone’s best interests.

“In the last couple of hours, it has been made clear to me that the board believes my no longer being CEO would help give them the clear air they believe they need. The game is bigger than any one individual – so this evening I told the chair that I would resign from the role."

Castle was the first woman to take a chief executive role in Australia's rugby and football history when she was hired in 2017.

Among the captains who signed the letter was 1991 World Cup winner Nick Farr-Jones and George Gregan.

Castle had taken a 50 per cent pay cut and laid off 75 per cent of Rugby Australia staff in a bid to stem the loss of money, which may accumulate to a reported £62 million if no rugby is played this year.

Castle was also criticised for her handling of the sacking of disgraced player Israel Folau last year.

Sign up to our newsletter