British & Irish Lions appoint new Chairman

The British and Irish Lions have announced that Tom Grace has succeeded Gerald Davies as Chairman of the Lions Board.

Mr. Grace succeeds Gerald Davies who had chaired the Lions Board since September 2010 and was previously British and Irish Lions Manager for the 2009 Tour to South Africa.

Mr. Grace who is a senior independent director with Paddy Power Plc, is currently Treasurer of the IRFU and a former Irish International (25 caps – 8 as captain) was part of the famous British and 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 and 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 Mr. 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 caps 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. My predecessor Andy Irvine did a fantastic job in Australia and I am looking forward to following in his footsteps”. said Mr. Spencer

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