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Herbert’s message: ‘RA doesn’t own rugby’

New Rugby Australia Chairman Dan Herbert is promising to listen to the people after taking a thinly-veiled parting shot at his maverick predecessor, Hamish McLennan.

Suggesting McLennan had reigned somewhat as a dictator, Herbert says fans and stakeholders must not be

overlooked as the governing body works to rebuild following the catastrophic World Cup campaign of the Wallabies and over ten years of a “broken system”.

With a centralization strategy, RA intends to completely reconstruct the broken code in order to bring the Wallabies back to their heyday of winning World Cup and Bledisloe championships.

However, Herbert agrees with fellow Wallabies legend and RA Chief Executive Phil Waugh, who took over in June, that the reform needs to begin at the local level.

Herbert remarked, “We’ve both been involved with the game since we were kids.”

“The club system that led to the state system and other systems produced both of us.

“So we understand the layering of the game and how it works because those people out there are important.

“They’re the people turning up and acting as volunteers and signing up kids, running the cafe at the club on the weekend and flipping burgers.

Afterwards, they are the ones that purchase Wallabies tickets and Super Rugby subscriptions.

It’s their game, then. Rugby isn’t our property. Rugby is not owned by RA. Even the Super Rugby teams are owned by their respective community groups; the community owns it.

After an emergency general meeting this past Sunday, McLennan was removed from office.

The powerful ACT Brumbies and Queensland Reds were among the six state unions that released a statement expressing their displeasure with the now-fired Chairman for “acting outside his role as a director, exerting an undue influence on the operations and executives of Rugby Australia.”

Herbert said on Monday that the rest of the RA board voted unanimously in favor of replacing the chair, following his expression of gratitude to McLennan for taking the reins during the epidemic when the majority of others were unwilling.

“Working on the other side sometimes you just want to make sure that you’re not dictated to,” Herbert said. “I’m not going to talk about Hamish per se.”

Since many of our talented members aren’t only athletes, you should make sure that others are paying attention to you if you have anything at stake in the game.

We believe that in order for the game to progress, everyone must come together. We believed that could only be accomplished by switching chairs.

The whole RA board shares blame for the disastrous decision to re-hire Eddie Jones, admits Herbert.

While McLennan, as Chairman, was the chief architect in parachuting Eddie Jones in to replace Dave Rennie just

Nine months before the World Cup this year, Herbert acknowledged that Waugh and the rest of the board at the time had to take ownership of the unexpected appointment.

Herbert acknowledged that Waugh was right when he remarked that Australian rugby administrators shouldn’t spend outrageous sums of money on signing NRL players, but he also stated that RA intended to honor their alleged AU$4.8 million, three-year contract with Sydney Roosters star Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii.

When asked by the AAP if they had any plans to back out of Suaalii’s contract after Roosters supremo Nick Politis indicated last week that the 20-year-old had promised him he would return to the Bondi club in 2028, Herbert responded, “We’re not doing that at the moment, no.”

McLennan, who appears to agree with Herbert on at least one of his moves, insists that RA will greatly benefit from his contentious decision to sign box office Suaalii.

stadiums will be filled by that guy, McLennan predicted.

“He will bring new life to rugby union.”

“It’s amazing that he wanted to go from league to union, and he’s incredibly talented.”

“Rugby needs to maintain his composure, and the World Cup has shown that we lack the depth we formerly had.

“Therefore, you need guys of that caliber to step in and make an impact.

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