Rugby Australia’s ousted chairman, Hamish McLennan, says his exit will only “create more division” even as the state unions pushing for his resignation backed chief executive Phil Waugh and plans to reform the game.
Mr McLennan, who is also chairman of REA Group and sits on the board of Magellan Financial, resigned on Sunday evening after it became clear he did not have the support of the majority of Rugby Australia’s directors.
He has been succeeded by former Wallaby Dan Herbert.
Former Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan this morning. Kate Geraghty
Mr McLennan’s exit came after a tumultuous time for the game, with the Wallabies failing to reach the knockout stage in the Rugby World Cup and coach Eddie Jones resigning less than 10 months into a five-year contract.
The unions and Super Rugby clubs from Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia, the Northern Territory, Western Australia and the ACT wrote to Mr McLennan on Friday demanding he resign. Despite not including the largest states – NSW and Victoria – those unions had the majority of votes.
On Monday, the six dissident unions said Mr McLennan had made “an honourable decision that recognises his continued service had become a distraction to the game”. “Mr McLennan cannot be faulted for his energy or devotion to rugby, nor his tireless efforts for the game,” they said.
In particular, the six unions said they were committed to working with Mr Herbert and Mr Waugh “on their plans for high-performance centralisation”.
Those reforms and a new operating model would lead to high-performance coaches and training being nationalised and Super Rugby clubs handing over their commercial functions to Rugby Australia.
But Mr McLennan told 2GB Radio Sydney that those opposed toRead more on afr.com