It's a fantastic signal, I think, about rugby in the 21st century
A woman was appointed to the board of the Australian Rugby Union for the first time, in a move officials said would help grow the game beyond its traditional area of support.
Ann Sherry, the Chief Executive of a cruise ship operator and a former head of a banking group, replaces outgoing director Rick Lee.
"The inclusion of rugby sevens in the 2016 Olympic Games provides a unique opportunity to grow the game beyond rugby's traditional areas of support, particularly with girls and women," said ARU chairman Michael Hawker.
"I am confident that Ann's appointment, together with the Olympic opportunities and ARU's focus on rugby sevens, will encourage more female participation in the sports of rugby union and rugby sevens."
Both men and women's sevens events will be played at the 2016 Olympics for the first time and Sherry said she was pleased to be joining the ARU board.
"It's a fantastic signal, I think, about rugby in the 21st century," she said, adding that the appointment of women to top sports jobs was a welcome reflection of trends in the corporate sector.
"I'm pleased to be joining the board as Australian rugby evolves, joins the Olympic family and expands its participation."