Trending topics

Select your station

We'll remember your choice for next time

Why McLennan was ousted as Rugby Australia chair


Rugby Australia (RA) has officially parted ways with its chairman Hamish McLennan after a horrid reign.

McLennan’s days at RA were numbered after reports emerged that all six states demanded he resign before 5pm on Sunday night.

After refusing to step down, an extraordinary general meeting was called where it was agreed to relieve him of duties and to name former Wallaby Dan Herbert as his replacement.

The move comes after a disastrous couple of years for the sport, plagued with internal and external drama that cast serious doubt over the game's future in Australia.

McLennan’s decision-making over that time has been heavily criticised and was one of the main reasons for his departure, according to rugby union writer Jim Tucker.

“Hamish McLennan, the upticks were that he was very significant in securing the hosting rights of the 2027 and 2029 Rugby World Cups,” Tucker told SENQ Breakfast.

“He signed a broadcast deal which helped the code out of financial distress during the Covid period, so there were some big ticks.

“There was big things aside from the Rugby World Cup, the states were expecting promises of funding which hadn’t eventuated.

“There was concerns in certain areas about his push to make private equity a guarantee, essentially, it’s selling off the game, there was people that were gravely concerned (about that).”

McLennan’s two main strikes on his resume during his time as Chairman will go down as the signing of coaching Eddie Jones and luring NRL young star Joseph Suaalii to switch codes.

“The signing of Joseph Suaalii really ruffled a lot of people because his mega millions deal just completely changed the structure of what payment certain players could expect,” Tucker added.

“I had at least one player manager say to me that me, ‘What does that say about my player? he plays in a similar position, is he not good enough, or worth 40 per cent less?’, it just changed the pecking order of all those deals.

“McLennan’s fingerprints were all over that deal.”

McLennan has responded to the statements, labelling the move as “all about money” and “a coordinated campaign to smear me”.


More in Rugby Union