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Herbert replaces McLennan as Rugby Australia chair in boardroom coup

SYDNEY :Former Wallaby Dan Herbert said there would be no change to Rugby Australia's drive to integrate high performance across the country after he replaced Hamish McLennan as chair of the governing body in a boardroom coup at the weekend.

With the game still reeling from the debacle of Australia's early World Cup exit, McLennan was voted out in the last of a series of emergency board meetings on Sunday and resigned as a director.

Herbert, who played 67 tests for Australia in the golden era around the turn of the century when the Wallabies won the World Cup for the second time, said a change at the top had been essential to unite the game.

"There's lot of admiration and respect for Hamish and what he's done stepping into this seat when probably not many people would have done it," he told reporters on Monday.

"He led us through COVID and has really been fundamental about the changes that are required and that's not going to change with me and the directors. We are steadfast on that.

"We feel that moving forward, the game requires everyone to unite. And we felt that that would only be achieved with a change in the chair role."

The move against McLennan was precipitated on Friday by six state unions, most notably the powerful Queensland and Australian Capital Territory (ACT) bodies, signing a letter calling for him to resign.

"Certainly this group of stakeholders felt that they weren't being heard, and that they didn't like the direction that they were being taken in, or the style," Queenslander Herbert added.

"There will always be a level of friction there ... but it's got to be respectful."


McLennan had driven the hiring of Eddie Jones and sacking of Dave Rennie as Wallabies coach in January, a decision that