Australia

Raelene Castle: Rugby Australia appoints first woman chief

Raelene Castle speaks during a press conference after becoming Rugby Australia's new chief executive, making her the first woman to ever oversee the sport anywhere in the world, in Sydney on 12 December 2017. Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Ms Castle is also the first woman to head a major Australian football code

Australia's rugby union governing body has chosen Raelene Castle as its new chief executive, the first time a woman has been given the job.

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

The appointment of the experienced sports administrator makes her the first female leader across all major national bodies in world rugby.

She reportedly beat more than 200 candidates for the job.

At a news conference Ms Castle told reporters that "it's interesting the media have an enormous fascination" with the fact that she is the sport's first female boss.

But she added: "The reality is sport has gender equity in it. There's people from both really delivering, particularly at grassroots level... so I don't think it's an enormous step to have a female chief executive, I'm excited about the opportunity."

Ms Castle, an Australian-born New Zealander, had previously headed New Zealand's national netball body, as well as a team in Australia's National Rugby League.

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