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New Rugby Australia chief Raelene Castle striving for stability

Raelene Castle created history when she was named Rugby Australia's new chief executive and the first woman to lead a major Australian football code.

The New Zealander and daughter of a former Kiwi rugby league captain officially began her first day in union's top job on Monday, where she was welcomed with an Indigenous smoking ceremony, symbolic of diversity and inclusion.

"It's very special to be welcomed like that and a true honour," Ms Castle said.

After a tumultuous 2017 for rugby that led to the Western Force being axed, the former chief executive of the Canterbury Bulldogs NRL club and Netball New Zealand is striving for stability and improved performances in super rugby.

"There's no doubt there have been challenges in rugby over the last 12 months," she said.

"It's really bringing back those relationships and working together and facing the same direction that's how you move a sport forward.

While the sports administrator is working towards restoring peace with the West Australian rugby community and mining magnate Andrew Forrest, her immediate focus will be a meeting with Wallabies coach Michael Cheika on Tuesday.

"At this stage it's getting to know one another. The relationship between the CEO coach and is incredibly important and it's about making sure we find an engagement that works really well that we can help each other and work closely together," she said.

Australia's worst ever defeat to Scotland last November saw the Wallabies slide to fourth in the world rankings. However, Ms Castle said she believed the national side still had a strong brand.

"The Wallabies need to perform, there's no doubt about that. For him [Michael] it's important not only that the Wallabies are successful but the building blocks underneath are crucial, so that we continue to produce quality athletes."

Karmichael Hunt looks at hands with serious expression during press

Another massive challenge for Ms Castle will be addressing Karmichael Hunt's latest drug scandal.

The Queensland Reds back was charged with drug possession last month, two years after he was fined and suspended after pleading guilty to cocaine possession.

Ms Castle did not make any assurances about Hunt's future.

"We've agreed with Karmichael and the Reds that he will stand down and not be involved and until we get final feedback from the police and his court case later [in] January [29th]. We really can't do any more until then."

While it's not on the current agenda, Ms Castle did not rule out a future zero tolerance policy on drugs either.

"The reality for young athletes is that there's a chance to make a mistake and be forgiven for that, but if you keep making mistakes that makes the conversation much more challenging," she said.

With the collective bargaining agreement resolved, which included equal pay for men and women in the sevens', Ms Castle's other priority will be to ensure success in the upcoming Super W women's competition.

"It's an important part of the whole mix. We've seen a desire for young women who want to be involved in union so this will be another pathway to for them to become professional athletes in the longer term and something that's aspirational for young female athletes."

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