HOT ON THE heels of qualifying for next season’s Heineken Cup, Connacht have appointed a new CEO.
Tom Sears is the man to take the reigns from Gerry Kelly, who has steered the province since 1999.
The job will be Sears’ first in rugby.
His previous duties were as CEO of Cricket Kenya, Derbyshire and head of business development for New Zealand Cricket. In a statement released by the province today, Sears said:
“There is real scope to develop Connacht Rugby at all levels and ensure the province is at the forefront of Irish and European Rugby in the coming years. There is no reason why Connacht can’t develop into one of Europe’s leading sides and that will be our collective goal.
“To do that we must ensure that we are the best we can possibly be from grass roots right through to our professional side and we will look at every area of the game to see how we can achieve this.”
Meanwhile, Jimmy Staunton, chairman of Connacht’s professional game board welcomed the appointment and also wished his former boss well.
“I would like to wish Gerry Kelly well in his retirement and to thank him for the great work he has done for Connacht Rugby over the years.” Said Staunton.
The summer will be a busy period for Sears as Connacht seek to bolter their ranks. Dan Parks, Nathan White and Willie Faloon have already been acquired. But after this season’s Heineken Cup took its toll on league results, the province will hope for increased strength in depth to continue their improvement in two competitions.