NZ Rugby rushes to defence of fallen Aussie CEO Raelene Castle

Rugby Australia chairman Paul McLean says abhorrent bullying played a major role in Kiwi Raelene Castle losing her chief executive job.

Castle stood down on Thursday night, after she recognised she had lost the confidence of the board.

Two years and three months after taking the job, Castle departs with McLean's sympathy.

"There were times where she'd be criticised and the board need to take some responsibility for that as well," said McLean.

Castle has come under heavy scrutiny for leading an organisation into a possible $120 million deficit, due to COVID-19.

Earlier this week, 11 former Wallabies captains voiced their concerns over how Castle was running Rugby Australia.

But former All Black Sir John Kirwan believes her job was not as simple as it looks.

"I think this crisis has been coming for a long time," Kirwan has told Newshub. He believes Castle shouldn't be the only one taking the fall.

"I think all the board should resign too, probably."

NZ Rugby threw its support around Castle, saying she had "taken an unselfish look at what is best for the game in Australia".

All eyes are now focused on fellow Kiwi Dave Rennie, the newly appointed Wallabies coach, who made it clear that he'd reconsider his future if Castle went.

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