Paul McLean has been appointed Rugby Australia chairman, taking over from Cameron Clyne.
Current chairman Clyne flagged his looming resignation at the end of 2019 but he was initially intending to stay on as chair until after the AGM at the end of March.
That decision created some public consternation, with Rugby Australia currently in the final stages of negotiating its new broadcast deal and collective bargaining agreement, the implementation of which Clyne would have no involvement.
Clyne will still remain on the board as a director until the Annual General Meeting, at which point his official replacement will be named.
Rugby Australia is currently interviewing for three new board directors, who will be elected at the AGM.
One of those people will be identified as a future chair to ultimately take over from McLean after an undefined period.
In a statement released on Monday morning, McLean said the board had decided a change would aid in the long-term transition.
“The Board has collectively made the decision to make this change, with the full support of Cameron, to enable us to provide support and a comfortable transition for the new chair following the AGM," he said.
“As the most senior Director remaining on the Board beyond the AGM, I have accepted the chairmanship during this transitional period."
Interviews have recently been carried out for a more permanent successor to Clyne, along with two other board positions..
Sydney University stalwart David Mortimer has reportedly one of those in the mix.
“There are three vacant positions that the Nominations Committee are currently interviewing for, including the new chairperson and there has been a very high level of interest and some high-quality candidates stepping forward for each of the roles," McLean said.
“The Chair is a high-profile role and whoever is chosen and elected as the future chair will benefit from having some time to build relationships and gain an understanding of all the major work happening across the Rugby landscape before they step into the role.
“Ultimately, there are some major pieces of work that are either nearing completion or getting underway, including the negotiations around the media rights, Rugby World Cup bid process, World Rugby positions, and a Collective Bargaining Agreement, and we believe this change will provide added stability at a crucial time for the business."
*A previous version of this story incorrectly described McLean as interim chair.