Australia appoints world's first female national rugby union chief executive

Rugby Australia has named Raelene Castle as its new chief executive - the first female boss of any of the major national unions in world rugby.

The New Zealander was announced as the successor to Bill Pulver at a press conference in Sydney on Tuesday.

She also becomes the first woman to be named as the boss of any of Australia's four major football codes.

Castle previously held the post of chief executive of the Canterbury Bulldogs, a rugby league side based in Sydney, but stepped down from the position earlier this year. Before that she headed up Netball New Zealand.

Castle will assume the role in January next year following Pulver's resignation in August.

Rugby Australia chairman Cameron Clyne said Castle was the standout applicant from a list of more than 200 candidates.

He said: "Raelene impressed the board with her vision for rugby and her clear understanding of what needs to be done to strengthen and unite the code at all levels.

"Raelene will bring a fresh set of eyes to the challenges and opportunities at Rugby Australia, bringing to us her learnings from other codes."

Castle said she was "honoured" to have been offered the position.

Former Wallabies captain Phil Kearns had been widely tipped to take over rugby's top job before reports that Ms Castle had clinched the role surfaced.


Most Read in Sport