Simon Keogh has been confirmed as the new CEO of Rugby Players Ireland, stepping up to take over from former boss Omar Hassanein.
Keogh won the Heineken Cup with Leinster in 2009 and was one of the original signatories in the establishment of the Irish Rugby Players Association in 2001.
Irupa rebranded as Rugby Players Ireland earlier this year and Keogh stepped up from his role as Operations Manager and Head of Legal Affairs at that time into the position of acting CEO.
Over the past month, he has come through a rigorous recruitment process, headed up by Rugby Players Ireland Chairman Rob Kearney.
“I am delighted to announce Simon’s appointment as CEO of Rugby Players Ireland,” said Kearney.
“Given his extensive work with the association over recent years, in addition to his own playing experience, Simon proved to be the ideal candidate to lead the organisation to further growth and success with the support of a young and vibrant team.”
“We are happy that Simon will ensure that the voice of professional rugby players in Ireland remains at the forefront of the game in this country.”
Keogh is a graduate of UCD and a qualified solicitor. Throughout his 10-year professional career with both Leinster here and with Harlequins in London, Keogh was actively involved in the Rugby Players’ Association and the Irish Rugby Union Players’ Association.
He has also provided support to players internationally through his work with the International Rugby Players Association (IRPA), and has been central to the establishment and development of new player associations worldwide.
“I am thrilled to be working with our members, the Board, the IRFU and our partners to develop the players’ association further,” he said after the announcement yesterday.
“Rugby Players Ireland is uniquely placed to become a world leader in player welfare and representation. Working with the players, we as an association will strive to make a difference and create an environment that is second to none in the world of rugby.”
“I look forward to an exciting chapter in Irish rugby, one that may see the pinnacle competition of our sport come to Ireland in 2023.”
Rugby Players Ireland, as well as all four provinces, Vodafone, PwC, Bank of Ireland and many more involved in Rugby in Ireland, are active members of the Sport for Business community.