Friday, May 09, 2014

Ballina man and Knockmore resident Willie Ruane has been appointed as the Chief Executive of Connacht Rugby.

The Mayo man played rugby for Connacht in the late 1990s and also represented Ireland at Colleges and U21 level.  Willie has been working in the Banking Sector for the past 15 years and takes the role in Connacht after being a Director within Ulster Bank’s Business Restructuring Division.

Former CEO Tom Sears stepped down last September for personal reasons and the IRFU’s Kevin Potts filled the breach. The absence of a full-time figure did not prevent the signing of Bundee Aki and Mils Muliaina from New Zealand but the scale of the task facing Ruane was made clear by IRFU CEO Philip Browne yesterday.

“Connacht face a number of commercial challenges but recent infrastructural investment and record crowds at the Sportsground shows the ambition of the province to grow the appeal of professional rugby in the region,” he said.

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