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Rugby Australia must 'start again'

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'We have to get rid of the entire [Australian] board and start again'

NZ Herald

A former leader in Australian media has called for a complete cleanout of Rugby Australia, calling for Raelene Castle to follow the lead of departing chairman Cameron Clyne.

David Leckie, the former chief executive of the Seven Media Group, didn’t pull any punches in his assessment of the sport’s national body, with a particular focus on Castle.

“We have to get rid of the entire board and start again,” Leckie told the Australian. “There’s not a single person on it who deserves to remain there.

“Raelene has been a total disaster. She doesn’t know rugby, she doesn’t know Australia and, judging by her time at Canterbury (Bulldogs), she doesn’t know how to manage a salary cap.

“She buggered that club. Central to your role when you’re the general manager of a club, is salary cap. That’s your first, first and first priority.”

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Leckie’s comments come a day after rugby Australia announced the signing of Kiwi Dave Rennie as the next Wallabies coach, following the departure of Michael Cheika after the Rugby World Cup.

Cheika stood down from his post as Wallabies coach after five rough seasons in which the Wallabies won just 34 of his 68 games in charge.

Speaking to Radio Sport’s D’Arcy Waldegrave on Wednesday, Castle said Rennie’s signing was an exciting one for the organization.

“He was by far and away the most outstanding candidate,” Castle said.

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“We believed he was the best fit not only from a performance coaching point of view but also a cultural point of view and his experience in bringing groups of people together is very sound.

“Dave’s proven ability both at the Chiefs and what he’s done in a short time with the Glasgow Warriors to bring together a group of men and build a culture where they all want to work together toward the same thing is one of his best skill sets and that’s something we know will be very valuable to us.

“We had a plan and we worked really hard to execute it.”

This article first appeared on nzherald.co.nz and is republished with permission.

It was a poor Rugby World Cup from the Wallabies, who failed to beat another tier-one side:

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'We have to get rid of the entire [Australian] board and start again'