Fox Sports’ decision to end its 25-year association with rugby union in Australia has led to fans pointing fingers at what is to blame. 

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The broadcaster has shown union ever since the game went professional, but now Rugby Australia is seeking a new deal. 

This is yet more damaging news for union in Australia after suffering over the past years, and this is indicative of the dwindling popularity of the sport. 

RA CEO Raelene Castle and soon departing chairman Cameron Clyne have been singled out by many fans, with waves of criticism for how they have run the organisation. 

The entire debacle surrounding Israel Folau proved hugely divisive amongst fans last year and while Castle and Clyne were doomed to face censure for whatever action they chose, it only added to the criticism over how RU has been run. 

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Israel Folau’s first interview for Catalans Dragons

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Castle is still not looked upon favourably after her stint with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in the NRL, and decisions in union have also not helped her cause. 

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Opting to keep Michael Cheika on as head coach after a poor run of results a couple of years ago was controversial, and this is yet more bad news. 

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However, fans have said that Fox Sports’ decision has to do with performances on the pitch as the Wallabies are not necessarily the force they have been in the past and neither are their Super Rugby teams. 

The results of the national team do, however, tie in with Cheika and RA’s decision to retain him. The question is now whether a potential revival under new coach Dave Rennie could reignite some interest across Australia. 

Equally, the entire Super Rugby competition has been lambasted, as Australia face similar problems to South Africa in terms of dwindling viewing numbers. The lack of success of their teams is partly to do with that, as well as the multiple time zones. 

Optus has been lined up as a potential broadcaster of union in the future once the current Fox deal ends in 2020. 

WATCH: The Rugby Pod reflects on England’s loss in Paris and looks ahead to the Calcutta Cup clash with Scotland 

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