Rugby Australia appoint Rob Clarke as interim CEO

Rugby Australia had a tough last two years
Rugby Australia had a tough last two years

Rugby Australia has confirmed Rob Clarke as the new interim chief executive after director Peter Wiggs resigned from his post earlier in the day.

The turmoil in the Australian board continued as Raelene Castle stepped down from the chief executive role last month and now Wiggs, who was tipped to replace Paul McLean as chairman as stepped aside.

Clarke already had two separate stints as Chief Operating Officer with the Australian board but has been out of rugby administration since 2017.

Clarke is pleased to extend his support in the difficult time caused by the pandemic coronavirus but admitted he is not looking at a long-term role.

“I was sounded out by the Chairman on my interest and availability to lead the organisation in a short-term capacity and I have accepted the role on that basis,” said Clarke.

“From my perspective, the opportunity and the timing were right, especially while things are on hold with some of my other pursuits during this current pandemic.

“The game is facing some unprecedented challenges and like all rugby supporters and people working within the game, I want to see Australian rugby get through this and emerge on the other side with greater certainty and a positive outlook.

“That is a challenge that I am very willing to take on and that’s what the focus will be over the next few months while the Board conducts its search for a permanent CEO. I will not be entering the process for the permanent role.”

Meanwhile, Australian Olympic Committee boss Matt Carroll expressed interest in taking the chief executive role of Rugby Australia under McLean.

"I put my hand up because I care about the game, I have a lot of knowledge and experience of professional sport that I can bring to the table and that I can bring to the table quickly," Carroll told Herald.

"That hasn't changed but my interest would depend on who the chairman was, because you need to know and trust who you are working with. If Paul was happy to stay on for the forseeable future, I would be happy to be involved."