31/01/2020 – Rugby AU – Rugby Australia Board meets in Sydney

The Rugby Australia Board has held its first meeting of the year in Sydney on Friday.

The meeting at Rugby AU headquarters was attended by World Rugby Chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont who is in Australia for the HSBC Sydney 7s being played across the weekend as part of World Rugby’s Sevens Series at Bankwest Stadium in Parramatta.

Beaumont announced last week he will stand for a second term having served as the figurehead of the world governing body since 2016. Sir Bill will be up for re-election at the World Rugby council meeting in May, and today shared his plans and vision for the game as he seeks another four-year term.

The Board received an update on the market process for the ongoing media rights negotiations ahead of the release of tender documents to interested parties in early February. Rugby Australia intends to conclude the market process and award the media rights by the end of quarter one.

An update was presented on the recent visit by incoming Wallabies Coach, Dave Rennie who after completing his Australian itinerary on Thursday has taken a short break with family in New Zealand, before returning to Scotland to resume his role with Glasgow Warriors.

Rennie’s 10-day visit included visits with each of the Australian Vodafone Super Rugby teams and two initial planning days with Wallabies coaching staff and team management. 

Rennie’s assistants, Scott Wisemantel and Matt Taylor will travel to Europe to attend Six Nations matches involving upcoming opponents, Ireland who will tour Australia for Rennie’s first matches in charge of the Qantas Wallabies in July.

Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Raelene Castle updated the Board on the organisation’s strategic planning process to coincide with the commencement of the next media rights cycle in 2021. Castle said the planning process will involve a range of stakeholders including all State and Territory Member Unions and will commence in quarter two, after the awarding of the media rights.

With the Olympics Games to be held in Japan in July and August, the Board also heard an update from the Men’s and Women’s Sevens programs today on their preparation for the Games.

The Board also received presentations from various Rugby Australia departments including a Finance and Community Rugby update.

The next meeting of the Rugby Australia Board will be held on March 31. The March meeting will be preceded by the Annual General Meeting to be held in Sydney on March 30.