Rugby Australia

Rugby Australia, known as the Australian Rugby Union until 2017, is the governing body of rugby union in Australia.[2] It was officially constituted in 1949 and is a member of World Rugby, the sport's international governing body. Rugby Australia has eight member unions, representing each state and territory. It also manages Australia's national rugby union teams, including the Wallabies and the Wallaroos.

Rugby Australia Ltd
Rugby Australia.svg
SportRugby union
Founded1945; 76 years ago (1945), (as Australian R.F.U.) (1945; 76 years ago (1945), (as Australian R.F.U.))
World Rugby affiliation1949
OR affiliation2000
PatronDavid Hurley,[1]
Governor-General of Australia
ChairmanHamish McLennan
Andy Marinos
Men's coachDave Rennie
Women's coachDwayne Nestor
Sevens coach


Until the end of the 1940s, the New South Wales Rugby Union, as the senior rugby organisation in Australia, was responsible for administration of a national representative rugby team, including all tours. However, the various state unions agreed that the future of rugby in Australia would be better served by having a national administrative body and so the Australian Rugby Football Union was formed at a conference in Sydney in 1945, acting initially in an advisory capacity only.[3] Additional impetus came in 1948 when the International Rugby Football Board invited Australia specifically (rather than a New South Wales representative), to take a seat on the Board.

The constitution of the Australian Rugby Football Union was ratified on 25 November 1949 at the inaugural council meeting of eleven delegates from the state unions of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.[4][5] The ACT Rugby Union gained membership in 1972. The Northern Territory Rugby Union joined in 1978, initially as an associate union before later being granted membership and voting rights.

Logo 2001–2017

In 1985 the Australian Rugby Football Union was incorporated as a company and, in 1997, it was renamed Australian Rugby Union Ltd, known as the ARU.

A founding member, the New South Wales Rugby Union, lost two affiliated regional organisations in 2004 when they affiliated to the ACT Rugby Union which became the ACT and Southern NSW Rugby Union.[6]

In 2017, the Australian Rugby Union was re-branded Rugby Australia,[7][8] coinciding with relocating to their new premises in Moore Park, Sydney.[9]

Rugby Australia's major sponsor, since 2004, is Qantas. Qantas has had official naming rights for the 'Qantas Wallabies'.[10][11]


The organisation's governing structures were overhauled in December 2012,[12] following a review authored by the former federal senator and Minister for Sport, Mark Arbib.[13]


Rugby Australia's members (shareholders) include state and territory Rugby unions, together with the owners of the Super Rugby bodies within Australia and the Rugby Union Players' Association (RUPA).[14]

Members exercise their voting rights at the annual general meeting. Under the new constitution adopted in 2012, the eight existing state and territory member unions, the RUPA and each Super Rugby team owner each provide a delegate who has one allocated vote. A delegate from a member union with more than 50,000 registered players in their region is granted a second vote. Only the New South Wales Rugby Union and Queensland Rugby Union exceed that mark at present, so the total number of members' votes is currently sixteen. There are also a number of affiliated groups that do not have voting rights.[14]

Under this revised governance system, a greater share of influence and control shifted from grass roots team and club representation through the state and territory unions to commercial team owners and the professional players association.

Australian Barbarians Rugby Club
Australian Junior Rugby Union
Australian Schools Rugby Football Union
Australian Services Rugby Union
Australian Women's Rugby Union
Classic Wallabies

Note: The Australian Society of Rugby Referees, and Australian Universities Rugby Union were also previously non-voting affiliates until 2005 and 2014, respectively. New South Wales Country Rugby Union and Sydney Rugby Union were also non-voting affiliates until April 2017.[15]

Prior to 2012, the voting franchise made no allowance for Super Rugby teams or the Players' Association. There were simply fourteen votes split as follows:[14]

  • NSW Rugby Union: 5
  • Queensland Rugby Union: 3
  • Other state and territory member unions: 1 each

Board and executiveEdit

The board must have at least six independent directors, appointed to three-year terms by a two-thirds majority vote of members, in addition to the managing director (chief executive).[16] Up to two further directors may be appointed by ordinary resolution of the board.[16] The board may elect one of the directors as the chair, with the position to be formally reconsidered at least every three years.[17] Executive officers, including the chief executive, are appointed by the board of directors.[18]

List of chairpersons from 1996 onwards:

List of chief executives from 1996 onwards:*


National teams

  • Wallabies – the national rugby union team.
  • Wallaroos – the national women's rugby union team.

National sevens teams

  • Men's 7s – the national rugby union seven-a-side team.[29]
  • Women's 7s - the national women's seven-a-side rugby union team.

Other teams

Former teams

  • Australia A – the former second-level national rugby union team behind the Wallabies.
  • Under 21s – a former age graded side that has developed players who went on to become Wallabies.
  • Under 19s – a former age graded side that has developed players who went on to become Wallabies.

Hall of FameEdit

Rugby Australia promotes and selects a Hall of Fame honouring notable former players. Each year two or three of Australia's greats from all eras of the international game are selected by an eight-man committee to be inducted into the Wallaby Hall of Fame. Inductees are drawn from all Test teams starting with the first side in 1899. Consideration is given to a player's on-field career but induction is not based on statistical achievement alone.

To be eligible for inclusion in the Wallaby Hall of Fame, a player must have:

  • Played at least one Test for Australia
  • Been retired from Rugby for at least 10 years
  • Made a major contribution to the game of Rugby
  • Demonstrated outstanding ability, sportsmanship, commitment, character and personal contribution to their team and the game in their era.

Hall of Fame members: [30]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Governor-General the Hon David Hurley named patron of Australian Rugby". Rugby Australia. 23 August 2019.
  2. ^ "RA's ability to deliver broadcast deal can keep unhappy ex-captains at bay". The Guardian. 22 April 2020. Archived from the original on 23 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Australian Rugby Football Union to foster code". The Mercury. Hobart. 6 December 1945. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Union council to meet". Brisbane Telegraph. 23 November 1949. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  5. ^ "British Rugby Union Tour". Brisbane Telegraph. 28 November 1949. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Historic change for South Coast rugby union". Batemans Bay Post. 10 November 2004. Archived from the original on 26 May 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Australian rugby kicks off new era as Rugby Australia" (Press release). Queensland Reds. 27 October 2017. Archived from the original on 27 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Massive deal to bring annual rugby Tests to Melbourne". The Australian. 27 October 2017. Archived from the original on 28 October 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Rugby Australia building an Australian-first high performance and education super centre" (Press release). Rugby Australia. 27 October 2017. Archived from the original on 27 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Sports partnerships - Rugby Australia". Qantas.
  11. ^ "'Qantas Wallabies". Rugby Australia.
  12. ^ ARU 2015, p. 52.
  13. ^ Arbib, Mark (2012). "Strengthening the Governance of Australian Rugby" (PDF). Australian Rugby. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  14. ^ a b c "ARU takes historic step after members vote to adopt constitutional change". Australian Rugby. 10 December 2012. Archived from the original on 22 August 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  15. ^ Papworth, Brett (12 April 2017). "Let's stop pretending it's a business when it isn't run like one". Rugby News. Archived from the original on 13 April 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  16. ^ a b Constitution 2012, p. 14.
  17. ^ Constitution 2012, p. 21.
  18. ^ Constitution 2012, p. 27.
  19. ^ Robinson, Georgina (16 May 2020). "'Fortune favours the brave': Hamish McLennan bullish on rugby's future". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 16 May 2020. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  20. ^ "Rugby Australia appoints Hamish McLennan as new chairman". The Guardian. 15 May 2020. Archived from the original on 15 May 2020.
  21. ^ "Cameron Clyne replaced by Paul McLean as Rugby Australia chairman in advance of next month's AGM". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 24 February 2020. Archived from the original on 24 February 2020.
  22. ^ "McGrath appointed ARU chairman". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 28 April 2007. Archived from the original on 29 October 2016.
  23. ^ "Graham appointed ARU Chairman". ESPN. 9 December 2005.
  24. ^ "Eddie Jones named as Australia's next coach". IOL. 1 June 2001. Archived from the original on 23 April 2020. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  25. ^ "Australian Rugby Union Chairman Clarke Resigns". Sportcal (Press release). 1 June 2001. Archived from the original on 23 April 2020.
  26. ^ "Change in Australian leadership". The Irish Times. 23 September 1998. Archived from the original on 23 April 2020.
  27. ^ Decent, Tom. "'He's rugby to the core': Marinos named new Rugby Australia CEO". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 4 January 2021.
  28. ^ "Rugby Australia names Rob Clarke as interim chief executive to replace Raelene Castle". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 6 May 2020.
  29. ^ Australian Rugby Union. "Australian Sevens Rugby". Sevens Rugby website. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  30. ^ "Michael Lynagh inducted into Wallaby Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  31. ^ a b c "Wallabies full-back Israel Folau wins John Eales Medal for second successive year". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 27 August 2015. Archived from the original on 30 March 2016. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  32. ^ a b c "David Pocock wins 2018 John Eales Medal in a landslide". The Sydney Morning Herald. 19 October 2018. Archived from the original on 22 October 2018. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  33. ^ a b c "Australian Rugby welcomes three Wallaby greats into Hall of Fame". 24 October 2014. Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  34. ^ a b Dunger, Ellen (31 October 2017). "Greg Cornelsen received the sport's highest honour last week". The Northern Daily Leader. Archived from the original on 14 December 2017. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  35. ^ a b c "The 2016 John Eales Medal". Australian Rugby. 27 October 2016. Archived from the original on 27 October 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  36. ^ a b "George Gregan and Stephen Larkham inducted into Wallaby Hall of Fame". Classic Wallabies. 15 November 2019. Archived from the original on 6 May 2020.

External linksEdit


External linksEdit


Member webpagesEdit