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Rugby Australia elects new chair after McLennan given deadline to quit


LYON, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 24: Australian players and staff are booed after the France 2023 Rugby World Cup match between Wales and Australia at Parc Olympique on September 24, 2023 in Lyon, France . (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)
Photo: Craig Mercer/MB Media

Former Wallaby Daniel Herbert has been elected by Rugby Australia’s board as the governing body’s new Chairman following Hamish McLennan’s resignation.

According to The Guardian the eA deadline was given at the weekend to consider his future as head of the sport’s governing body.

It continues a turbulent period for Australian rugby, highlighted by a disastrous World Cup campaign under coach Eddie Jones, who has since departed.

The sacking of coach Dave Rennie and the appointment of Jones, who was dubbed the “Captain’s Pick” for McLennan, failed miserably.

Wallaby number 715, Herbert played 67 Tests for Australia, and was part of the Wallabies teams that won the 1999 Rugby World Cup, 2001 British and Irish Lions League, the Rugby Championship and five straight Bledisloe Cups.

After his playing career, Herbert held roles with the Queensland Rugby Union before embarking on a corporate career. He has been on the Australian Rugby board since 2020.

A press release from Rugby Australia said the board considered Herbert’s experience to be ideally suited to lead the development of the game from grassroots to elite level, across women’s and men’s rugby.

In addition, he is well placed to lead the board’s ongoing commitment to Rugby Australia’s strategy to align the game across the country.

New Rugby Australia Chairman Dan Herbert said: “It has never been more important for the Rugby Australia board, working with the Union Members, to come together and implement the reform we need for a high performance aligned system and to fulfill our commitments. done, including investing in Community Rugby and Women’s Rugby.

“Australia will host the British and Irish Lions Tour in 2025, the 2027 Men’s Rugby World Cup and the 2029 Women’s Rugby World Cup and the 2032 Olympics – the reform we now take forward will underpin the competitiveness of our national team, as well as building deeper engagement with the Rugby community and fans everywhere.”

“We note that the various Member Unions are not opposed to Rugby Australia’s centralization proposals and remain committed to supporting a high performance alignment.”

The board recognized the strategic program that McLennan was instrumental in driving, through COVID and other challenges, ensuring that Rugby in Australia continued during very challenging times.

He leaves the role of Chairman after being a key figure in Australia securing the hosting rights to major Rugby events that will inspire generations of players and supporters, as well as delivering the current broadcast rights deal and helping the company’s financial position control change.

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