Hamish McLennan, chairman of Bullish Rugby Australia, believes the game has become too “passive and entitled” in Australia and wants to take a stand and fight back.
McLennan, who has become less of an identity for many in rugby league with his aggressive approach and harsh criticism of the NRL, is hailed by many as bringing rugby back to its golden years.
Outspoken McLennan, who clearly takes great pleasure in upsetting his rivals’ code and isn’t afraid to grab the headlines, snapped up former schoolboy rugby prodigy Joseph Aukuso Suaalii from the Roosters on a three-year, $1.6 million-a-year deal. season from the end of 2024.
McLennan contrasted former pupil rugby prodigy Joseph Aukuso Suaalii with Tom Brady and announced that he would once again recruit followers to code.
While some see the signing as a waste of cash that could have been better spent elsewhere, McLennan sees it as a worthwhile investment.
“He’s going to sell out stadiums,” McLennan informed Gazette.
‘He’s like the Tom Brady of rugby. I admit the variety of headlines looks like a lot, however he is as soon as a member of an era and I believe he will attract additional followers to rugby again.
“He’s absolutely worth it.”
McLennan also made a swift move to replace Eddie Jones as the Wallabies after England sacked the coach within 12 months.
“We couldn’t believe the RFU let him go without a non-compete clause in his contract,” says McLennan. “I was always obsessed with getting Eddie back because our cultural and rugby DNA had been destroyed in recent years.
“As they say, fish blow from the top, and so unless we had that level and understanding of our game, it was going to be very difficult for us to move the needle.”
McLennan lured Eddie Jones back into the Wallabies job after England sacked their coach this 12 months.
The Wallabies (pictured) are currently preparing for the opening Test against the Springboks
McLennan has recently changed the controversial code, which he says has been on the brink of budget desperation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When I started playing rugby, a lot of people said, ‘Why are you so practical or why is it a board?’ But it was like watching your little one run up to a glass window and have to jump in and tackle,” he says.
“I think we had a week to die – we openly explored insolvency scenarios and changed the game from professional to amateur, which is just extraordinary.
“We didn’t have an agent contract for the next year, we had lost Qantas as the front sponsor of the team and debts were piling up left, right and centre.”
McLennan says the Australian sick leave wanted a daring program and he was the one to deliver.
“Rugby had become too passive and legal and I thought the game was taken for granted,” he said.
“For years we had been run over and had to fight for what was ours. We really believe in what rugby has to offer – boys and girls, men and women.
“It’s a wonderful global game, and yet no one really supported it.”
The Wallabies are currently preparing for the opening test against the Springboks in Pretoria on July 9.