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Lions Announce New Chairman, Manager and Sponsor

Lions Announce New Chairman, Manager and Sponsor

The British & Irish Lions have announced the appointment of Andy Irvine as Chairman of the Lions Board.

Irvine will succeed Bill Beaumont, who has stood down due to his commitments as IRB Vice Chairman. Beaumont had chaired the Lions Board since April 2003 and managed the 2005 Tour to New

Irvine is a former President of the Scottish Rugby Union and a former Scottish International.  As full back for Scotland, he won 51 caps, 1972-82.  He also played for the Lions against South Africa(1974), New Zealand(1977) and South Africa(1980).

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Following a meeting of the Board, Gerald Davies was appointed as Tour Manager for the 2009 Lions Tour to South Africa. Davies, one of the legends of Welsh rugby, toured with the British & Irish Lions in South Africa(1968) and New Zealand(1971).

Davies played in two Lions tours in South Africain 1968 and New Zealand in 1971.  He said: “I’m extraordinarily privileged to be named tour manager.  I’m thankful for all the support given to me by the Lions committee and home unions.  I hope I can fulfil the task put upon me.  I’m determined it will be a hugely successful tour.  Lions tours are unforgettable experiences.  This is a great privilege bestowed upon me and I hope I can do a suitable job.”

The Lions committee will decide upon the coach for the tour to South Africaafter next year’s RBS 6 Nations. Lions chief executive John Feehan said  “The selection of the coach won’t be until after the 6 Nations. We will make the appointment then because it gives candidates the chance to show what they can do between now and then.  The Lions committee will decide who coaches the tour.”

HSBC were unveiled as a principal partner to the Lions tour to South Africa, in a £4million sponsorship deal. 

David Hodgkinson, group managing director and chief operating officer of HSBC Holdings plc, said: “The British and Irish Lions are the most prestigious name in a sport that has enormous relevance to our business, clients and our people.  We look forward to working with the British and Irish Lions committee, as well as to some fantastic rugby.”