Time looks to have run out on Raelene Castle's tenure as Rugby Australia CEO.

Reports have indicated Castle was on the outer over the past few days and now it appears former Wallabies skipper Phil Kearns is set to take her place, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Rugby Australia was widely condemned for its unjustified self-praise during Monday's annual general meeting, where it announced a 72 per cent performance rating for 2019. In the same meeting, RA declared a preliminary $9.4 million loss for the financial year.

During a 12-month period which featured a lacklustre Rugby World Cup performance, the Israel Folau saga, drastically low attendance numbers and several high-profile players abandoning the Super Rugby competition, a 72 per cent rating seems unreasonably high.


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The past 12 months has culminated in growing frustration among powerbrokers with those in charge at RA, with the final nail in the coffin for Castle being the failed bid to secure a new broadcast deal.

Kearns initially missed out on the top role back in 2017, but reports indicate he has the backing to take on the job when he's free to do so in 2021.

A growing fracture between RA and the Rugby Union Players' Association (RUPA) has caused added turmoil as the two sides look to reach an agreement during the coronavirus shutdown.

Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle. Photo / Photosport
Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle. Photo / Photosport

Clubs could follow in the A-League's footsteps and stand down their playing groups if an agreement isn't reached in a fast enough time. A statement from RUPA laid bare the ugly breakdown in their talks.

"Australia's professional rugby players are awaiting the delivery of, and the opportunity to analyse, information detailing Rugby Australia's financial position. This has not been provided.

"The Rugby Union Players Association again emphasises the need for an open and collaborative approach from RA before we can properly understand our role in Australian rugby's restructure, for both short and long term transformation."

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Castle denied the claims made by the Association by stating the documents in question had been provided.


"We believe the information we have shared, including information on future cash projections, provides the players with enough information to develop a position," Castle said.

Reports indicate Castle may be lucky to survive the weekend.