McLean will take over the role on an interim basis to aid in the transition of the new chair, who will be elected at the RA annual general meeting next month.
The move means McLean, 66, will have oversight at a crucial time amid the governing body’s broadcast rights negotiations, collective bargaining agreement and 2027 Rugby World Cup bid.
Initially intending to stay on as chairman until the AGM on March 30, Clyne will remain on the board until that date.
“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,” said McLean, who has served for the past eight years as a board director after an almost five-year stint as RA president from 2005-2009.
“The chair is a high-profile role and whoever is chosen and elected 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.
The 31-Test former Wallaby said the nominations committee had interviewed several strong candidates for three vacant director roles, including the new chairperson.
“There has been a very high level of interest and some high-quality candidates stepping forward for each of the roles,” McLean said.
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