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Rugby Australia appoints Rob Clarke as interim CEO after director resigns | Sport


Rob Clarke has been appointed the interim CEO of Rugby Australia to replace Raelene Castle on the same day director Peter Wiggs tendered his resignation from the board of the embattled organisation.

Former RA chief operating officer Clarke, who left the organisation in 2017 after also serving as the Brumbies and Rebels boss, will take over the role on a short-term basis after Castle resigned last month.

Earlier on Wednesday, Wiggs stood aside following an email exchange with the man many expected him to replace. Touted as RA’s next chairman since his arrival in March, Wiggs had been pushing for Australian Olympic Committee boss Matt Carroll to immediately succeed Castle.

Interim chairman and acting CEO Paul McLean entertained the prospect, according to emails published by The Australian on Wednesday. However, citing a conflict of interest because of Wiggs’s friendship with Carroll, McLean suggested the former remain as a director and instead promote incoming board member Hamish McLennan to the position of chairman.

Fellow board members had reportedly pushed back on Wiggs’s hasty plans that would have skipped any formal recruitment or interview process.

Supercars chairman Wiggs, instrumental in steering RA’s player pay-cut deal during his brief rugby posting, replied by saying what little regard he had for the board had “extinguished” and he would resign on Wednesday. Confirming Wiggs had done just that, McLean said he “understood his reasons” for departing.

“He has undertaken some very important work and has made a valuable contribution to the organisation, in a very short time, and we are thankful for his contribution,” McLean said.

RA, awaiting rescue funds from World Rugby, faces a potential revenue hit of $120m if no play is possible in 2020.

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