May 15, 2020 / 5:19 AM / 12 days ago

Rugby-Former TV, media boss McLennan named Rugby Australia chairman-elect

SYDNEY, May 15 (Reuters) - Rugby Australia (RA) has appointed former television and media executive Hamish McLennan as a director and chairman-elect, the governing body said on Friday.

McLennan is to join the board at its next meeting on June 15, filling the seat vacated by Peter Wiggs, who resigned earlier this month after less than six weeks in the role.

McLennan will also replace interim chairman Paul McLean, who took over the role in February after Cameron Clyne stepped down, RA said in a statement.

“Hamish is a lifelong rugby man and is passionate about uniting the game,” McLean said in the statement.

“His immediate focus with the board is on ensuring the game navigates the next few months while reshaping the rugby economy for a sustainable future to ensure the game remains healthy and strong at the community level.”

RA is battling a financial crisis that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic with uncertainty over future revenues and the suspension of rugby globally, including the Super Rugby competition.

It also struggling to finalise a new broadcasting agreement and saw chief executive Raelene Castle quit last month, saying she believed the board no longer wanted her in the role.

McLennan is a former managing director of Australia’s free-to-air broadcaster Network Ten and executive vice president at media group News Corp.

He is currently the deputy chairman of global equity fund Magellan Financial Group.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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