Update from Rugby Australia Chief Executive Raelene Castle

by Raelene Castle

The following letter is an update to Rugby community from Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Raelene Castle.

To all members of the Rugby community, 

I wanted to send you a note to update you on all that’s happening in the game right now, and celebrate some of the positive things in the Rugby community.

The performance of the Junior Wallabies

While the Schools and Clubs continue to battle it out in your region, we’ve also achieved some significant results at Super Rugby level and on the International stage.

Our Junior Wallabies fell just short in their pursuit of a maiden World Championship crown, after going down 24-23 in a pulsating Final in Argentina in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Coach Jason Gilmore and captain Fraser McReight should be praised for their determined efforts and we’re incredibly proud of their achievements – but I know how desperate they are to go one better next year!

There is some excellent talent within the squad and Rugby Australia has moved to contract the bulk of the squad to ensure the talent remains in Rugby and sees off the approaches of rival codes.

Thank you to all the clubs, schools and volunteers who have supported and helped foster our next generation of stars!

Brumbies in Buenos Aires

The Junior Wallabies were the first to greet the Brumbies when they landed in Buenos Aires earlier this week.

The Canberrans are in red-hot form at the moment and are flying the flag for Australians in Super Rugby. A berth in the Super Rugby Final beckons when they take on the Jaguares on Saturday morning from 9am AEST. You can catch it all live on FOX Sports or on Kayo Sports.

Go the Brums!!

Women’s Sevens locked in for Tokyo

Our Women’s Sevens team have booked their spot for Tokyo 2020 following the final World Series event in Biarritz. Our Golden Girls have given opportunities to the next generation of Sevens stars this season and will be aiming to top the medal dais once again in Tokyo next year.

World Cup countdown for Wallabies

Michael Cheika will assemble his first Wallabies squad of 2019 next week ahead of their Rugby Championship opener against the Springboks in Johannesburg.

The Wallabies have three Tests on home soil this year with games against Argentina at Suncorp Stadium on July 27, the All Blacks at a sold-out Optus Stadium in Perth before taking on Samoa at the brand new Bankwest Stadium in Parramatta on Saturday September 7. For all the information, visit https://wallabies.rugby/

Hamilton to Captain Wallaroos

Grace Hamilton was named captain of our Wallaroos just last week ahead of their historic two Test Series against Japan next month. Coach Dwayne Nestor has also trimmed his squad to 29 players following a hugely successful second season of Super W.

The Wallaroos take on Japan at Newcastle’s No.2 Sportsground on July 13 before the second Test at North Sydney Oval on Friday July 19. Then two huge doubleheaders against New Zealand in August! For more information and tickets, head to: https://wallaroos.rugby/

#GoldBlooded Tour

Rugby Australia launched the #GoldBlooded Tour earlier this month and it has already made its way from Darwin through to Uluru and down to Tasmania, hosting clinics and events along the way.

The 100 day tour will stretch as far wide as Rockhampton on the East coast to Bunbury in the West, to give locals in 30 different regional or metro centres a taste of World Cup fever, plus a chance to meet and greet our Classic Wallabies and current Wallabies squad members in various locations.

Further details on each stop can be found at our website: https://wallabies.rugby/about/tour

Rugby at community level

In the community game we’ve recently run our first pilot for the ‘Front Row Passport’ at The Southport School on the Gold Coast – a program that we hope to implement broadly next season as part of the safety initiatives arising from last year’s serious injury review.

Almost all of the State bodies have reported growth in participation so far in 2019, particularly in young girls and women, which bodes well for the continued growth of the women’s game across both formats and also means that more families will engage with Rugby.

Celebrating Rugby’s values

As we all know there are so many positive stories happening in Rugby every single day and with the World Cup on the horizon, we all need to continue to work hard to help promote what is great about our game and get on with the job of building Rugby in Australia.

Today we will launch Phase Three of our campaign ‘Part of More’. It’s a celebration of all things Rugby and it has reinforced to me, and to so many others, why it’s so important that we continue to fight for and defend the values of our game - values like inclusion, passion, integrity, discipline, respect and teamwork.

All the videos are here: https://australia.rugby/media/partofmore

I would love for you to share the stories through your community or on your own social pages, to show the great work Rugby is doing in the community.

Just briefly, as I’m sure you’ve seen some of the media coverage regarding the Israel Folau matter, I thought I could offer some clarification on where Rugby Australia stands.

I want to make clear that Rugby Australia has acted with complete professionalism and integrity at all times through the process by which Israel was found, by an independent three-member tribunal panel, to have made multiple, serious breaches of the Professional Players Code of Conduct. The panel found the breaches constituted a high level and directed Rugby Australia to terminate Israel’s contract.

This is an employment matter and does not concern his religious beliefs or his ability to express them freely. If some of you follow Israel’s social accounts, you will have noticed he has posted religious material freely and openly over the last few years.

The media attention it has garnered is obviously distracting as it means that we aren’t talking about, and celebrating, all the great things going on in our game.

Finally, we’d love to see you at a Wallaroos or Wallabies Test Match over the next two months and watch out for the launch of our Rugby World Cup Wallaby supporter campaign.

On behalf of us all at Rugby Australia, thank you for your support of our Game.

Kind Regards,

Raelene Castle

Chief Exectuive
Rugby Australia