Rugby Australia chair’s wife crash tackles the haters

Rugby Australia chair’s wife crash tackles the haters

November 1, 2023

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It feels like the Wallabies’ French humiliation did not faze Rugby Australia boss Hamish McLennan, who continued hosting glitzy soirées in Paris well after the lads in gold had made their early flight home.

McLennan finally returned to Sydney on Wednesday determined to stay on, despite the disastrous decision to hire recently departed Wallabies coach Eddie Jones. But one brave punter was willing to get on Instagram and back McLennan and Jones.

Left to right, front: Tanya and Peter Costello, Anthony Albanese and Jodie Haydon, Mike Sneesby. Back row: Liz Fitch, Hamish McLennan, Lucinda McLennan.Credit: Jesse Marlow

Responding to a comment on a Wallabies post about Jones’ departure questioning why McLennan remained in his job, one fan explained that the chairman must stay on “because there is no better person to the impossible job. You try”.

The Jones admirer’s account appears to belong to one Lucinda McLennan, which just happens to be the name of Hamish’s wife. And the account’s bio just happens to contain a link to a real estate listing for the NSW South Coast estate the McLennans are currently out to sell.

Mrs McLennan wasn’t finished, claiming that Jones had a “work ethic like no other and nothing but the best intentions”.

“He came into a dire situation and at the very least improved the winning spirit of the Wallabies. The coach doesn’t make the players. Good luck with whatever you decide to do next Eddie I hope you enjoyed the Portuguese chicken!” she said – a reference to a secret dinner at the McLennans former Lavender Bay mansion where they tried to woo Eddie away from England.

Pack your bags – Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan arrives at Sydney Airport on Wednesday.Credit: Nine

“Don’t listen to the boos [sic] and the haters. It’s so wrong,” she wrote.

When commenters chuckled at an apparent family connection between our brave punter and Hamish, she hit back.

“What’s so funny. Knowledge is power. You have none. And you say cringe. Your profile is the biggest cringe,” she replied to another poster, before telling them to “Go back to ‘drinking your beer’.” The couple didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Lucinda didn’t appear alongside Hamish when he arrived at Sydney Airport Wednesday morning with the world’s largest Longchamp bag in tow.

A safe bet

Qantas industrial relations boss Nathan Safe caused some ripples on Tuesday when he told a Senate inquiry into the government’s proposed industrial relations changes that the airline had to cut wages and conditions for its workers or go under. But, hang on, doesn’t that name and face ring a bell, we wondered.

Australian and International Pilots Association president Nathan Safe.Credit:

Turns out it’s the very same Nathan Safe who led the Australian and International Pilots Association back when former chief executive Alan Joyce was battling Qantas unions as he slashed thousands of jobs at the carrier.

Now, that is a turnaround for Safe, we thought, although not as dramatic as we’d hoped.

Turns out that Nathan never left his job as a Qantas pilot when he was leading the union, which prefers to be known as a professional association, if you don’t mind.

Safe then moved into pilot management in 2018 and ascended through the altitudes of the airline’s IR set-up over the next few years, before landing in the acting role of executive manager of industrial relations. Of course, with a name like that, he was always destined to go far in the aviation game.

Pharm boys

As well as being one of the most relentless lobby groups in Canberra, the Pharmacy Guild also presides over a sprawling network of businesses.

This week, the guild made a bit of dough – we’re told around $20 million all up – by flogging off its superannuation arm (yes, it has one of those, plus a law firm, and an insurance outfit) to Future Super, one of those green funds that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels.

All business as usual if not for some of the behind-the-scenes protagonists. As CBD recently reported, the guild’s new chief executive is Gerard Benedet, the co-founder of conservative rabble rousers Advance Australia.

Future Super, meanwhile, was co-founded by Simon Sheikh, who came to prominence as national director of Get Up, the very group Advance was created to counter. What’s more, teal financier Simon Holmes à Court is one of Future Super’s major investors.

And while political tribalism often fades away when there’s a deal to be struck, we’re still not quite over Sheikh’s evolution from the face of leftie activism to the boss of a greenie super fund.

Meanwhile, the money from the sale will go straight into the guild’s fighting fund, which does exactly what it says on the tin.

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