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Thread: Letter to Raelene Castle

  1. #1
    Veteran Bakkies's Avatar
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    Letter to Raelene Castle

    Just sent this off to her

    Dear Raelene,

    I am writing to you directly to express my concern over the state of Australian Rugby and the behaviour of key people in Rugby Australia, Cameron Clyne and Brett Robinson. Their behaviour has put Australian Rugby in bad light and is ruining the governing body's reputation within World Rugby. World Rugby are acutely aware of the destruction of the game in Australia led by Rugby Australia itself despite its duty to be the custodians of the game in Australia and responsibility for growing the game in the country, not shrinking it. A keen supporter of the game in Western Australia actually took it upon himself at his own expense to phone World Rugby directly to inform them of the state of the game that Rugby in Australia and the behaviour of the governing body in axing one of their own.

    It is very rich of Brett Robinson to get a key individual within World Rugby Agustin Pichot to declare potential conflicts of interest when Rugby Australia is rife with it. I give you clear examples of these:

    - Links to consulting firms that are tied relationship wise to Rugby Australia board members and directors. The current and former Chairman (Michael Hawker) of Rugby Australia, Saltbush Capital (who conducted one of the 13 reviews in the past six years) whose director Patrick Allaway is a member of the Friends of Sydney University Football Club along with Mr Clyne and Mr Hawker and the former board member John Eales' practice International Quarterback
    - Relationships between Rugby Australia and the Melbourne Rebels that the other Australian Super Rugby sides and the Western Force certainly don't benefit from
    - Ties that the current and former Chairman of Rugby Australia have with the Friends of Sydney University Football Club
    - The so called independent Rugby Australia board nominations committee ties to the Friends of Sydney University Football Club and Sydney University Football Club major sponsor and also major sponsor of the Wallaroos, Buildcorp
    - Executive directors that have other directorships while Chief of Executive Officer of Rugby Australia. I am not referring to yourself here, the individual I am targeting is John O'Neill whose leadership is largely responsible for the mess that Australian Rugby is in and continues to escape scrutiny from. Mr O'Neill had another directorship while he was paid a handsome salary to run Australian Rugby

    Due to these potential conflicts of interest and their ongoing poor behaviour I call for the immediate resignation of Cameron Clyne and Brett Robinson. These two individuals are linked to the continuous obstruction towards to Andrew Forrest and the competition that he has introduced World Series Rugby. Due to the behaviour of Mr Clyne and Dr Robinson Andrew Forrest is now getting on with doing things his way with minimal ties to your organisation. World Series Rugby also primarily exists due to Mr Clyne's and Dr Robinson's role in the axing of the Western Force from the declining Super Rugby competition. Mr Forrest has also taken it upon himself to do Rugby Australia and the New South Wales Rugby Union's job in resuscitating the game in western Sydney who have lost their Shute Shield club the Penrith Emus earlier this year. Not only is Mr Forrest taking it on himself and likely at his own expense the game may actually thrive there with more than just a pulse.

    These two individuals on behalf of Rugby Australia provided no competition for the Western Force to go in to so due to this they took away the principal revenue stream from Rugby WA. Due to this Rugby WA went in to voluntary administration and if it wasn't for people who have WA Rugby's interest at heart they would be in liquidation by now. Thus leaving the game in Western Australia with no administration body to run it and be responsible for the local senior competitions there. The behaviour of Rugby Australia has led to a 30% decrease in player registrations in the state this year.

    As a supporter I have lost a lot of respect in John Eales and Brett Robinson they played a key role in bringing about the success of Australian Rugby in the late 90s and early turn of the century after struggling for a couple of years on and off the field. Now due to their association with the poor decision making and behaviour of Cameron Clyne and your predecessor Bill Pulver they are responsible for the destruction of the game in Australia.

    Further to add Cameron Clyne showed utter contempt towards Alan Jones and the Barbarians Football Club last year. The Barbarians have a huge history and do a lot for supporting causes including the Lismore flood appeal. Whether you agree with Alan Jones or not he has done a lot more to put Australian Rugby on the map than Cameron Clyne and should be given a lot more respect. Due to this lack of respect it has given Alan Jones further ammunition to throw at your organisation. Alan Jones' Wallabies side gave Australian players belief that they can go out and beat the best and become champions. John Eales certainly benefited from that belief which he installed in the teams he was involved with.

    Now there is another organisation that has caused a lot of damage to the game financially in Australia the Melbourne Rebels. Having looked at the available financials as the Melbourne Rebels' books haven't been accessible since 2015 I am deeply concerned at the amount of additional money that the national governing body has thrown at this organisation that has had private ownership since its birth. Now thanks to the assistance of Rugby Australia it was sold to the Victorian Rugby Union (VRU) for one dollar. The VRU certainly don't have the funds to pick up the mess that the Melbourne Rebels have been left in.

    The money that the national governing body has thrown at the Melbourne Rebels is alarming and with the limited return from the Rebels private owners over their lifetime has affected Rugby Australia's bottom line and their ongoing ability to provide contributions to the game's grassroots. There has been a huge drop off in the development of the game's future in Australia. The 7s team has fluctuated, the Australian Schoolboys have struggled against New Zealand and the under 20s haven't made the Junior World Championship semi finals since 2011.

    This has to be addressed as soon as possible rather than throwing money at the Melbourne Rebels and over paying players that are involved in the under achieving Wallabies team. The Melbourne Rebels must reveal a five year business plan that will highlight how they are going to remain sustainable in the future without causing strain to the national governing body and also to the detriment of its grassroots.

    One of the reasons why New Zealand Rugby is so successful they place an importance on the game's development so they are constantly bringing through players to ensure the ongoing success of the All Blacks. The All Blacks bring through ready made young talent so they don't get effected by player departures due to retirement and overseas contracts. To the contrary Australian Rugby prefer to throw large sums of money that they don't really have at established players' salaries, this expenditure has led to an exodus of fringe players from Australian Rugby thus reducing the depth available for selection and spending a fortune on bringing back on contract ageing players from overseas. Last year Rugby Australia spent one million dollars on bringing back on contract players from abroad. Two players that Michael Cheika brought back from abroad in previous years have now decided to leave again after barely being selected by the national coach. One of those players required compensation to his employers at the time at the time Leinster Rugby and the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) to get out of his contract so he could be brought back to Australia.

    For the game to move forward in Australia it needs the right individuals involved that have the game's interest at heart and rid itself of the toxic individuals who are tearing it apart.

    Kind regards

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    'I may be a Senator but I am not stupid'


    https://omny.fm/shows/the-alan-jones-breakfast-show/cameron-clyne

    Link to Senate Report http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

    https://www.change.org/p/rugby-australia-petition-for-cameron-clyne-to-resign-as-chairman-of-the-rugby-australia-board

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    Champion SPaRTAN's Avatar
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    Really good letter mate. Now let's hope they have the decency to give you a response. The RA probably wont because they have no spine.

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    A great summary of a dire situation. RA ( I have no idea why they call themselves Rugby Australia) will ignore it and hope it will go away as their history shows. Iím expecting a deluge of Corporate Yuckspeak ( Bullshit ) from Ms Castle after the ASIC finding yesterday.
    As already said .... no spine

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    Veteran Bakkies's Avatar
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    ASIC 'finding' loosely. They took only eight months to investigate the Rabble and the RA yet are still investigating the Brumbies and ACT Town Council's land deals.

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    'I may be a Senator but I am not stupid'


    https://omny.fm/shows/the-alan-jones-breakfast-show/cameron-clyne

    Link to Senate Report http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

    https://www.change.org/p/rugby-australia-petition-for-cameron-clyne-to-resign-as-chairman-of-the-rugby-australia-board

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    Good on you Bakkies!

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    Veteran Bakkies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPaRTAN View Post
    Really good letter mate. Now let's hope they have the decency to give you a response. The RA probably wont because they have no spine.
    Thanks mate will be full of spin no doubt.

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    'I may be a Senator but I am not stupid'


    https://omny.fm/shows/the-alan-jones-breakfast-show/cameron-clyne

    Link to Senate Report http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

    https://www.change.org/p/rugby-australia-petition-for-cameron-clyne-to-resign-as-chairman-of-the-rugby-australia-board

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    Champion SPaRTAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakkies View Post
    ASIC 'finding' loosely. They took only eight months to investigate the Rabble and the RA yet are still investigating the Brumbies and ACT Town Council's land deals.
    Was the investigation only to do with the 2015 sale? Nothing at all about any of the recent shenanigans... and why no official announcement from ASIC? Surely they would have their own media release. This all smells like a coverup..

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    Veteran Bakkies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPaRTAN View Post
    Was the investigation only to do with the 2015 sale? Nothing at all about any of the recent shenanigans... and why no official announcement from ASIC? Surely they would have their own media release. This all smells like a coverup..
    Pretty sure it was to do with the financial dealings between the two organisations.

    Yeah something shifty is going on as Sen Reynolds is going to raise this in Parliament next week. The Government must be up to something as ASIC's funding was slashed in the budget.

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    'I may be a Senator but I am not stupid'


    https://omny.fm/shows/the-alan-jones-breakfast-show/cameron-clyne

    Link to Senate Report http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

    https://www.change.org/p/rugby-australia-petition-for-cameron-clyne-to-resign-as-chairman-of-the-rugby-australia-board

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    Good bit of banter between Rugby East Australia and Sen Reynolds on Twitter

    More
    Just going to leave this here @lindareynoldswa⁩ 🤫


    Linda Reynolds


    @lindareynoldswa
    16h16 hours ago
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    Replying to @RugbyEAU
    I dont think so!

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    'I may be a Senator but I am not stupid'


    https://omny.fm/shows/the-alan-jones-breakfast-show/cameron-clyne

    Link to Senate Report http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

    https://www.change.org/p/rugby-australia-petition-for-cameron-clyne-to-resign-as-chairman-of-the-rugby-australia-board

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    Veteran Bakkies's Avatar
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    Just got a response back from Raelene Castle. You can put out a reasoned response to this without spitting chips.

    Hi xxx

    Many thanks for taking the time to pen your email.

    You raise many points, some of which I would support, others I do not.

    What I can assure you is the current board has always made decisions for what they believe ultimately, to be in the best interests of the game.

    The removal of the Force, was one of the most challenging situations that Rugby Australia and Rugby in Australia could face. There was always going to be a group that felt let down and ostracised by Rugby Australia.

    This decision has caused a lot of challenges for RWA and RA continue to work with John Edwards and Bob Hunter on ways to be supportive of the Community Game, both financially and with programmes. It is important that the game rebuilds and I will do all I can to help.

    In relation to World Series Rugby, RA has continued to be supportive of the concept and has helped with the required approvals from World Rugby to get the Series up and running this year. We also supported the competition with officials and rules approvals.

    The new iteration of WSR is currently under discussion with RA. We continue to be supportive of the concept and are working to ensure the competition is beneficial and complimentary to Rugby across Asia, Pacific and Australia.

    Please be assured that I understand the hurt and frustration of all Rugby Fans in WA and I will ensure RA does all it can to support RWA to grow the game in WA.

    Regards

    Raelene

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    'I may be a Senator but I am not stupid'


    https://omny.fm/shows/the-alan-jones-breakfast-show/cameron-clyne

    Link to Senate Report http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

    https://www.change.org/p/rugby-australia-petition-for-cameron-clyne-to-resign-as-chairman-of-the-rugby-australia-board

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    Champion SPaRTAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakkies View Post
    Just got a response back from Raelene Castle. You can put out a reasoned response to this without spitting chips.

    Hi xxx

    Many thanks for taking the time to pen your email.

    You raise many points, some of which I would support, others I do not.

    What I can assure you is the current board has always made decisions for what they believe ultimately, to be in the best interests of the game.

    The removal of the Force, was one of the most challenging situations that Rugby Australia and Rugby in Australia could face. There was always going to be a group that felt let down and ostracised by Rugby Australia.

    This decision has caused a lot of challenges for RWA and RA continue to work with John Edwards and Bob Hunter on ways to be supportive of the Community Game, both financially and with programmes. It is important that the game rebuilds and I will do all I can to help.

    In relation to World Series Rugby, RA has continued to be supportive of the concept and has helped with the required approvals from World Rugby to get the Series up and running this year. We also supported the competition with officials and rules approvals.

    The new iteration of WSR is currently under discussion with RA. We continue to be supportive of the concept and are working to ensure the competition is beneficial and complimentary to Rugby across Asia, Pacific and Australia.

    Please be assured that I understand the hurt and frustration of all Rugby Fans in WA and I will ensure RA does all it can to support RWA to grow the game in WA.

    Regards

    Raelene
    To be honest that's a pretty shit response for someone who is meant to be running a high profile organisation. What gets me is that she responded yet has not offered up a solution to any of the issues or even touches on the gross injustices experienced during the botched axeing process which was a one horse race due to RA involvement from the get go, it was a shameless charade. She doesnt touch on any funding strategy, any strategy to support our grassroots, she doesnt mention how they intend to get World Series Rugby approved before next years kick off date so it doesnt become a rebel league when all reports suggest they have actually tried to put roadblocks in Andrew Forrests way, and still are to this day. They don't offer up any solutions on how they intended to keep a pro team in WA, instead they are just leeching off the generosity of a philanthropist. She is nothing but hot air and her response reads exactly that way. She has no idea what to do, it's clear that she just wants to put her head in the sand and ignore us. Good riddance I say.

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    Veteran Bakkies's Avatar
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    I wouldn't expect her to put negotiation details to a supporter however axing a side and the board's behaviour as a whole was never in the best interests of Australian Rugby. You don't run a sporting organisation like a bank.

    What would have been in the best interests of Australian Rugby would have been to have a proper look at the books get on the first plane down to Melbourne and sort out their financial structure with the owner so the RA wouldn't bleed to the detriment of the rest of Australian Rugby. I don't care if there were incremental payments outside of annual Super Rugby allocations agreed to 2020, the RA have shown they can back out of an agreement when they want to. If Cox couldn't make sufficient contributions to the club like a private owner with an obligation from the club to reimburse him then he should either put the club for sale or hand in his licence to another party.

    Even in lean years like 2017 it was pretty clear the RA could have turned over a tidy profit without cutting Community Rugby contributions.

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    'I may be a Senator but I am not stupid'


    https://omny.fm/shows/the-alan-jones-breakfast-show/cameron-clyne

    Link to Senate Report http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

    https://www.change.org/p/rugby-australia-petition-for-cameron-clyne-to-resign-as-chairman-of-the-rugby-australia-board

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    Player UAUdiver1959's Avatar
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    Raelene Castle has been to WA once since she was appointed. Maybe Robertson went to the first Force WSR game as an invited guest. Thatís the level of interest RA has shown from a management level. She did not Ďlistení during her listening tour. One visit was suppose to heal a state. She just ticked a box, complete an annual kpi for her bonus, thatís all. RA are not interested in WA. They are far too busy trying to remain viable and functional. Broke again. More money to Victoria and the rumour mill says more money to Qld to pay out all the former coaching staff and consultants. Que Titanic music.......

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    Player UAUdiver1959's Avatar
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    P.S thanks for sharing Bakkies, we all genuinely appreciate your contributions (at least I do).

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    Champion Contributor sandgroperrugby's Avatar
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    TWF Contributor!
    My take on that response is that she potentially doesnít agree with the decision.

    What I can assure you is the current board has always made decisions for what they believe ultimately, to be in the best interests of the game

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    Generally speaking you arenít learning much if your lips are moving!!!

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