The British & Irish Lions today announced the appointment of Tom Grace as Chairman of the Lions Board.
Tom Grace succeeds Gerald Davies who had chaired the Lions Board since September 2010 and was previously British & Irish Lions manager for the 2009 tour to South Africa.
Grace, who is a senior independent director with Paddy Power Plc, is currently Honorary Treasurer of the IRFU and a former Ireland International (25 caps, with eight games as captain).
He was part of the famous British & Irish Lions squad on the 1974 tour to South Africa. By the end of that voyage, he had amassed an impressive tally of 11 appearances and 52 points.
"It is an honour to be appointed Chairman of the British & Lions," commented Grace. "The Lions represent the core values of our sport and I am grateful for the opportunity to represent them as Chairman.
"It is a privilege to take over from Gerald Davies, who has been a wonderful ambassador for the Lions both as a player, tour manager and more recently as Chairman."
John Spencer will be appointed tour manager for the 2017 tour to New Zealand, taking over the duties from Andy Irvine who managed the successful 2013 tour to Australia.
Spencer is the RFU representative on the Lions Board since 2008. He was the RFU representative on the Six Nations Council from 2011 to 2013 and has been on the IRB Board since 2011.
He is a former England captain, Barbarian (18 games as captain) and toured New Zealand and Australia with the Lions in 1971 where he played 10 matches.
"It is a huge privilege and honour to represent the Lions as tour manager, 46 years after I did so as a player," said Spencer. "My predecessor Andy Irvine did a fantastic job in Australia and I am looking forward to following in his footsteps."
The Ireland squad are in camp at Carton House this week as they prepare for the GUINNESS Series opener against South Africa. There are a number of players carrying injuries in the build up to the sold-out game.
Ian Madigan talks us through a busy first day back in Ireland camp at Carton House. There are suits to be measured for, kit to try on, forms to be signed and all before the serious work starts ahead of the GUINNESS Series.
You've finished training but what should you eat to help your body to recover? Getting the balance right is all important so check out #Eat2Compete and download the factsheets on www.irishrugby.ie/eat2compete.
Eating the right food is only one part of nutrition for young players. Hydration is a key element. How much? How often? Check out our #Eat2Compete guide to hydration and download the factsheets from www.irishrugby.ie/eat2compete.
Simple tips for young players to keep healthy throughout the season - 'Eat Well, Stay Well, Play Well' - it will benefit you on and off the field. For more check out #Eat2Compete or www.irishrugby.ie/eat2compete
Speaking after the 3rd/4th place play-off defeat to France, Ireland Women's head coach Philip Doyle said: "Semi-final of a World Cup, ranked fourth - I'm absolutely thrilled with that. It's one step, we've learned a huge amount at this World Cup. We'll put it in the bank now and hopefully, in three years' time at the next World Cup, another Irish team will be there (competing in the last-four)."
The Ireland squad got their first taste of the new Canterbury training kit with new sponsor Three on board. Check out the gear as Cian Healy, Tommy Bowe and Devin Toner give us their thoughts and register for updates on shop.irishrugby.ie.
Speaking ahead of the Women's World Cup semi-final against England, Ireland head coach Philip Doyle said: "We're really looking forward to it, it's going to be a great occasion. I'm sure it will be like any another massive game in that it's all down to percentages."
Relive all the drama and excitement of the Ireland Women's historic victory over New Zealand with Wyn Gruffydd's memorable commentary, the roar of the Irish fans in Marcoussis and Fiona Coghlan's inspiring post-match interview.