Bulldogs appoint veteran rugby league administrator to replace Raelene Castle

Raelene Castle is stepping down as chief executive of the Bulldogs.
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Raelene Castle is stepping down as chief executive of the Bulldogs.

Rugby League World Cup boss Andrew Hill is the new chief executive of the Bulldogs.

In a massive coup for the club ahead of Thursday night's clash with South Sydney at ANZ Stadium, Hill will replace outgoing chief executive Raelene Castle, who announced earlier this year she would be moving on at the end of the season.

Hill has only emerged as a potential candidate in recent days. Others linked to the much-sought after role included Gold Coast Titans chief operating officer Tony Mestrov, Sharks chief executive Lyall Gorman as well as NSWRL executives Stuart Clark and David Trodden.

Andrew Hill is the current 2017 Rugby League World Cup CEO.
GETTY IMAGES

Andrew Hill is the current 2017 Rugby League World Cup CEO.

It's a win for Bulldogs chairman Ray Dib and his board because Hill is considered one of the smartest operators in the game.

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He has previously been the NRL's General Manager of League Integration and Game Development, and has been responsible for helping grow the game in other states as well as the Pacific including Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga. He also spent a year at Greater Western Sydney during its formative years ahead of its first season in the AFL.

For the past few years, Hill has been heavily linked to Parramatta, where he served as general manager for a decade under chief executive Denis Fitzgerald. In more recent times, he's been linked to a role at Manly because of his close relationship with Bob Fulton, as well as the vacant NRL chief executive job after Dave Smith resigned.

Hill will come to Belmore at a delicate time for the Bulldogs, who could be forced to sack coach Des Hasler if performances don't improve before the end of the season.

Dib and his board are also under pressure ahead of next February's elections but Hill's appointment should be seen as a positive step towards stability.

Hill will not take on the role until the World Cup finishes in late November.

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 - SMH

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