The Rogues Rant

RoguesRantWelcome to The Rogues Rant, an occasional look at all things Rugby.

Who is Raelene Castle? She is the person with the task of leading Rugby Australia out of the Doldrums in 2018 and beyond. Castle recently announced as the new CEO of Rugby Australia, replacing the outgoing Bill Pulver, takes over in January 2018 with a huge task ahead. Castle is an Australian born New Zealander, born in Wagga Wagga in the 1960’s. Her father Bruce Castle was a Kiwi Rugby League representative who spent a couple years in Wagga Wagga as Captain/Coach of Turvey Park Rugby League Club. Castle’s mother Marlene is a four times Commonwealth Games Bowls representative for New Zealand, so sport has played a significant part in Raelene’s life. From a successful Commercial Marketing background Castle was the CEO of Netball New Zealand for six years before holding the top Job at the Canterbury Bulldogs. After four turbulent years as the Bulldogs CEO, Castle moves into the top Rugby job with plenty of work to do to resurrect the fortunes of Rugby at all levels. With her broad experiences in her past positions she is well placed to hit the ground running in the overall Australian sporting landscape. Let’s hope she can bring all aspects of the Australian game together for the sake of Rugby right across the country.

NSW Rugby and the Waratahs have moved into their new home at the UNSW David Phillips Sports Complex. The facility is to become a High Performance Hub for the NSW Waratahs with the Waratahs head office and training base re-locating from Allianz Stadium. The UNSW Logo will also become a part of the Waratahs playing strip in 2018 as the two organizations enter a partnership aimed at providing high performance facilities for the University and the wider community. The Waratahs will continue to play their Super Rugby home games at Allianz Stadium.

In some local Rugby news to end the year, there doesn’t appear to be many changes in the Coaching ranks for next season. Murray McDonald will be back with Avondale to try and keep his 100% first grade coaching record intact for the Premiers. Sean Barrett will be backing up for Runners-Up Vikings in 2018 while there will some minor changes at University. 2018 Illawarriors Coach Shaun McCreedy will once again be the Club Coach at the Students with Dion Miller and Richard Thompson teaming up to look after First Grade. Two times IDRU Coach of the Year Gene Fairbanks will be in charge again at Bowral with the club very confident that they will be able to field a Third Grade side in 2018. James Patrick will be on the job for Camden again and Elliot O’Donnell is backing up for the improving Tech Waratahs. I’ll keep my ear to the ground over the holiday period and bring you all the Goss in the New Year as the next rugby season will be on us before you know it.

It’s been confirmed that the NSW Country Championships will be on in Warren next April. If you are thinking of going out for the tournament, get in quick for accommodation as there is not a lot on offer in Warren. Should be a very interesting weekend!

With Christmas just over a week away let me pass on the best to all for Christmas and the New Year, and I will be back in 2018. Merry Christmas.

All opinions offered in this column are the opinion of the author. They should not be considered to represent the views of the IDRU.

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