Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan was sacked on Sunday night because the state unions proceed to battle over main centralisation plans for the game.
McLennan had rejected a name from six rebellious state unions to resign by 5pm Sunday, earlier than a unprecedented normal assembly voted him out.
The businessman will likely be changed instantly by former Wallaby Dan Herbert, with McLennan opting to stop the board totally fairly than stay as a director.
It comes after Rugby Australia’s plan to centralise the construction of the game within the wake of the World Cup catastrophe, with Rugby Australia to create a unified excessive efficiency program and successfully take cost of the Super Rugby franchises’ industrial capabilities.
NSW Rugby and Rugby Victoria supported the plan, as did Andrew and Nicola Forrest who personal the Western Force.
But there have been widespread criticisms of the plan – and of McLennan and his judgement. Chief among the many criticisms of McLennan was his ‘captain’s choose’ of Eddie Jones because the Wallabies coach, changing Dave Rennie months earlier than the 2023 World Cup.
Herbert, the brand new Rugby Australia chief, was a 67-cap Wallaby who performed a key function in Australia’s 1999 Rugby World Cup victory, and was famend for his function as one of many world’s most interesting outdoors centres.
After retiring, Herbert was concerned within the Queensland Reds and Queensland Rugby Union earlier than industrial roles with sportswear model Skins, and is now the CEO of property providers firm, SSKB. He has been on the Rugby Australia board for 3 years.
A public assertion from the board reads: “The board considered that Herbert’s experience is ideally suited to leading the development of the game from the grassroots to the elite level, across women’s and men’s Rugby. In addition, he is well placed to lead the board’s continued and unwavering commitment to Rugby Australia’s strategy of aligning the game across the country.”
Herbert stated in a press release: “It has never been more important for the Rugby Australia board, working with Member Unions, to come together and execute the reform we absolutely need for an aligned high-performance system and to deliver on the commitments we have made, including to invest in Community and Women’s Rugby.
“Australia will host the British and Irish Lions Tour in 2025, the Men’s 2027 Rugby World Cup and the Women’s 2029 Rugby World Cup and the 2032 Olympic Games – the reform we progress now will underpin the competitiveness of our national teams, as well as building deeper engagement with the Rugby community and fans everywhere.”
“We note that the different Member Unions are not opposing Rugby Australia’s centralisation proposals and remain committed to supporting high performance alignment.”
McLennan was despatched a damning letter of no confidence by the Queensland, ACT, West Australian, South Australia, Tasmanian and Northern Territory state unions on Friday.
It wrote: “We do not believe Mr McLennan has been acting in the best interests of our game. “We no longer have any trust or faith in his leadership, or the direction in which he is taking rugby in Australia.
“Additionally, we believe Mr McLennan has been acting outside his role as a director, exerting an undue influence on the operations and executives of Rugby Australia.
“This is not the best practice governance that we expect from leaders in our game.”
It added: “This request is not about opposition to Rugby Australia’s centralisation proposals – we remain committed to supporting high-performance alignment.
“This is instead a deep concern about the performance of Mr McLennan as Chair, and the damage done to the game by his performance.”