The IRFU has announced that Kevin Potts will replace Philip Browne as its new chief executive.
Browne is bringing the curtain down on a 29-year career with the IRFU and the organisation have decided to promote from within by handing the top job to Potts.
Potts has been the chief operating officer of the IRFU for the last six years having first becoming associated with Irish rugby’s governing body in 2005.
He is a chartered accountant and has held positions in the financial sector before joining the IRFU sixteen years ago.
“This is a huge honour for me,” Potts said. “Rugby brings people together, on and off the field; and is a topic of conversation the length and breadth of the country, because people are passionate about it.
“Clearly the immediate challenges will be around the Six Nations Championships in these times of ongoing Covid uncertainty, the completion of the critically important reviews into our women’s game, and the continued support of our provinces and clubs in an ever-changing environment.
Rugby has always played a central role in my life, both as a player and administrator, therefore, player welfare and the development of the game will be central to my decision making.
“I want to thank, and acknowledge the leadership of, Philip Browne over almost three decades at the fore of Irish Rugby. Philip is one of the most respected CEOs in Ireland and across world rugby and it is an honour to succeed him.”
Carlow man and IRFU President Des Kavanagh added: “I congratulate Kevin on his appointment and wish him every success in this latest phase of his career. Kevin has come through a particularly rigorous recruitment process to achieve this appointment as Chief Executive.
“Throughout the process he has displayed, in abundance, all the attributes required to lead the IRFU in an ever-evolving environment, reflecting the significant commercial and societal changes facing the game.
“Kevin has been a very strong Chief Operating Officer for the IRFU and been a central figure in many of the Union’s key projects over the past number of years, including most recently, oversight of the IRFU’s successful negotiations with CVC as part of the Pro14 (URC) and Six Nations transactions, in addition to the extensive remit he oversees across the organisation.”