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Clyne replaces Hawker as new ARU chairman

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has appointed Cameron Clyne as its new chairman, following the decision by Michael Hawker (pictured) to stand down from the role.

Clyne, who has been a director on the ARU board since October 2013, will take up his new role with the organisation onJanuary 1. The Australian has a long affiliation with rugby union, having represented the country’s national team as a player in matches against New Zealand and South Africa.

In his new role as chairman, Clyne will now oversee the delivery of Australian Rugby’s Strategic Plan, which is due to be published early next year.

Clyne’s confirmation as chairman comes after Hawker announced his intention to step down from the role he has held since 2012. Hawker, also a former national team player, will remain on the ARU board as a director until the body’s 2016 AGM. Hawker has now served the maximum nine-year board term across two periods, from 2001 to 2003 and 2009 to 2015.

“Michael has been a terrific chairman and guided the board admirably through some challenging years,” Clyne said. “His passion for rugby and his experience in the banking and insurance industries as a director and non-executive director significantly enhanced the capability of the board to deliver the best possible outcomes for Australian rugby.”

Meanwhile, in conjunction with Clyne’s appointment, Brett Robinson has been elected as deputy chairman of the ARU. Also a former Australia national team player, Robinson will take a place on the World Rugby Council, replacing Hawker, while Clyne will sit on the board of Sanzar, rugby union’s governing body in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.

In addition, the ARU has appointed Elizabeth Broderick, a former Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner, to its board. Broderick, who will attend her first meeting in February next year, replaces Nerolie Withnall as an ARU board member.

Confirmation of the board changes comes after pay-television broadcaster Fox Sports this week struck a deal to retain rights in Australia for Test matches and tournaments operated by Sanzar. The new agreement will run for five years, from 2016 to 2020, and is worth a total of Aus$285m (€189m/US$205m) – a 148-per-cent increase on the previous rights cycle, from 2011 to 2015.