Australia to bid for 2027 Rugby World Cup and 2021 women's tournament

Raelene Castle has refused to be caged in when it has come to choosing her varied sporting work assignments

Just a day after former Canterbury Bulldogs NRL boss Raelene Castle was unveiled as Rugby Australia's new chief executive, replacing the outgoing Bill Pulver, the governing body moved to continue its growth in female participation by developing the pathway to Test rugby within the women's game.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew hailed her appointment as heralding "a new era for global rugby".

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"Through her most recent roles as CEO of the Bulldogs and Netball New Zealand, Raelene has led sporting organisations at both a national and club level, giving her an in-depth understanding of what it takes to run a national sporting body as well as the unique challenges for clubs and the importance of building strong relationships and a unity of objective within a sporting code".

In the end, the national body opted for the New Zealander's history of sports administration in what many will view as an historic moment for Australian sport.

Parry said it was exciting to see opportunities for women in both forms of the game.

He said: "Raelene impressed the board with her vision for rugby and her clear understanding of what needs to be done to strengthen and unite the code at all levels".

"I have known Raelene for a number of years, and have a huge regard for her and we are really looking forward to working with her".

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"My experience in rugby league was very strong". The [player] depth issue I think will change now with going to four teams, so that means we will have four teams that are more competitive.

"(The Bulldogs) really helped me understand the Australian sporting landscape.

The Wagga Wagga-born Kiwi's first priority is to "take a breath".

"It's been a very big year, it's been a challenging year and this is about some stability moving forward".

Rugby Australia said Ms Castle was "extremely impressive" with an "outstanding track record".

"But also Raelene is bringing a fresh set of eyes, but not new to this market".

The new women's national XVs competition will comprise of five teams - WA, NSW, Queensland, ACT and Victoria - and will run over six weeks, from the beginning of March, with regular rounds and a final to conclude in April.

Raelene spoke with D'Arcy about the new job.

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