Applications Invited for Chairperson Role

05 April 2022

Applications Invited for Chairperson Role

The Connacht Rugby Governance and Nominations Committee is now inviting applications for the following volunteer role; Chairperson of the Professional Rugby Committee.

Candidates should please submit cover letter which sets out their motivation in applying for this position and their experience having regard to the above competencies and requirements, together with an up-to-date CV to

The closing date for applications is 26th May 2023 at 3pm

Please click on the following links for each role description.

Chairperson of Professional Rugby Committee

Chairperson of the Professional Rugby Committee (PRC) of Connacht Rugby

Reports to: The Committee Chairperson is ex-officio a member of the Board of Connacht Rugby, to which he or she reports

Location: Connacht Rugby, The Sportsground, College Rd. Galway.1

Duration: One term of Three (3) years renewable for a further Three (3) year term subject to an overall maximum of two (2) terms- total (6) years

Time Commitment:

  • Two (2) to Three (3) days per month.
  • The time commitment, some of which is outside normal working hours, includes meetings with stakeholders such as the CR Board, CEO and Executive Staff, PRC Committee, CR Governance and Nominations Committee, IRFU, Performance Director IRFU, National PGB, CR IRFU Reps, External Stakeholders (e.g., Performance Director, national PGB, and other Sporting Bodies).
  • The Board of Connacht Rugby meets at least six (6) times per year, or more frequently if required.
  • The Committee also meets at least six (6) times per year, or more frequently of required.

Remuneration: None. This is a Voluntary Role

Background - The Professional Rugby Committee (PRC)

In accordance with the Constitution and Bye-Laws of Connacht Rugby, the PRC is a standing Committee of the Board. It reports to and is accountable to the Board. Its purpose, on the basis of Terms of Reference established by the Board from time to time, is to advise on how Connacht Rugby shall produce future winning teams and elite rugby players for Connacht and Ireland and provide a platform for our best talent to achieve true success and through that success inspire the next generation of Connacht players, fans and volunteers. In brief, the PRC has the delegated authority from the Connacht Rugby Board, to develop and manage the operation of the Professional Game and Elite Player Development process and pathways across the male and female game in accordance with policies as approved by the Board and I.R.F.U. from time to time. More specifically, this includes:

a) Formulating and recommending policies and strategies to the Board in relation to the professional game as well as the male and female elite development pathways that will meet the strategic objectives of Connacht Rugby and the I.R.F.U.

In the context of the health emergency, attendance at the Sportsground may not be possible and many engagements are virtual or hybrid

b)  Responsibility for oversight of the process and budget for professional player recruitment and retention

c)  Responsibility in conjunction with the I.R.F.U. for senior coaching and head of departments roles for the professional and pathway departments.

d)  Responsibility for oversight of the process and strategy of the Elite Player Academy in Connacht.

e)  Formulating annual key performance indicators for the professional game and elite player academy and monitoring performance against them.

f)  Compliance with I.R.F.U. directives in relation to the player management programme of professional players and reporting of any breaches to the Board of Directors.

g)  To create and implement a process for assessing the performance of the Connacht Team, the Connacht Head Coach, the Academy, the Academy Manager, and their coaching staffs and reporting on same to the CRB and the IRFU.

h)  The recruitment of all Head and Senior Coach and Team Management Appointments in conjunction with the National Performance Director and the I.R.F.U.

A particularly important responsibility of the Committee at present, and in the immediate period ahead, is the strategic planning and formulation of the enhancement and development of the Elite Player Development process and pathways in accordance with the strategies as agreed with and approved by the Board and I.R.F.U. The successful completion of the planned redevelopment of the Sportsground and the performance centre should lead to enhanced opportunities in this area.

The Committee consists of

  • The Committee Chairperson as identified and nominated to Council by the GNC based on an appropriate competency framework for the role and committee.

  • Two members as identified and nominated to the Board by the GNC based on an appropriate competency framework for the committee

  • The CEO

  • The Head Coach, Team Manager and Academy Manager will report to each meeting.

    The PRC shall have the authority to co-opt additional members subject to the approval of the Board. The Committee will seek to make decisions by way of consensus, but where voting is required, it will be by majority vote with the Chair having a casting vote in the event of a tie.

Committee Chairperson Role and Responsibility

The Chairperson of a Standing Committee is an ex-officio member of the Board of Connacht Rugby. They are responsible, with Board colleagues, for the governance and management of the affairs of Connacht Rugby and are expected to contribute to all aspects of the work of the Board to ensure that the organisation delivers on its Vision, Mission and Strategy as laid out in its Strategic Plan. As Chairperson of the PRC, the role is to ensure that the Committee fulfils its purpose in accordance with its terms of reference and contributes to the delivery of Connacht Rugby’s Strategic Plan. The Chairperson will provide leadership and ensure that the PRC functions properly, ensure that there is an appropriate balance between strategic and operational focus, and ensure that the professional game is managed effectively.

This includes:

  • Providing leadership, direction, and management to the PRC, and ensure the effective operation of the PRC.

  • Ensuring the effective delivery of Connacht Rugby’s strategy and succession plans for the PRC, Professional Game and Elite Development Pathways.

  • Ensuring that the Committee fulfils its governance responsibilities – ethical and accountability obligations to stakeholders and the IRFU as main funding bodies - and its responsibilities to ensure the financial viability and sustainability of the professional game in Connacht Rugby whilst meeting all regulatory obligations

  • Maintaining a supportive and oversight relationship with the PRC members, Performance Director [when required], Chair of the National PGB, Chairs of other provincial Professional Rugby Committees, other Committee Chairs, the CEO, and executive staff

  • Representing Connacht Rugby, and be a spokesperson for Connacht Rugby when required

  • Effective Chairing of meetings

  • Formal signing and certification functions including minutes etc.

  • Contributing to ensuring effective collegiate relationships across Connacht Rugby structures, emphasising the shared objective of developing and fostering rugby in Connacht and delivering a high performing Rugby Club for the benefit of communities and Connacht Rugby.

Key Skills and Competencies required for the role both as a Board member and as a Standing Committee Chairperson.

  1. Understand the Organisations Purpose:

    • Understand the business of professional rugby in Ireland, its culture and processes and be fully familiar with its strategy and administration

    • Demonstrate an understanding of the wider context, including, the formal context, within which it operates.

    • Be able to identify opportunities and potential risks for the organisation and the PRC.

    • Be able to identify effective succession planning within the coaching staff, Professional Game,

      Academy, and Pathway

  2. Be an Effective Communicator:

  • Communicate internally and externally in a positive manner
  • Bring clarity and build confidence in stakeholders in Connacht Rugby’s strategic direction and that Connacht Rugby is well run
  • Ensure that relevant information is communicated to the right people in the right style at the right time.
  1. Team Working

    • Capacity to develop positive, professional and productive relationships with a broad range of stakeholders

    • Work co-operatively within the Board, within the committee, with the executive and with the other Connacht Rugby and IRFU structures, in a manner that respects roles and responsibilities.

  2. Personal Leadership and Accountability

    • Capacity to develop a consensus and secure, Board, PRC and stakeholder commitment

    • Facilitating change whilst being cognisant of the overarching priority of the short- and long-

      term sustainability of Connacht Rugby.

    • Taking responsibility for decisions and actions, follow through on commitments and account openly, candidly, and fairly to the Connacht Board and ultimately to the Council of Connacht Rugby

Key Relationships:

    • Board of Connacht Rugby and its Committees Chairs

    • Officers and Council of Connacht Rugby

    • Connacht Rugby CEO and Executive team

    • Head Coach, Academy Manager, Senior Team Manager, Head of Rugby Development

    • Connacht Rugby Governance and Nomination Committee

    • IRFU Chair of National PGB

    • IRFU Performance Director

Person Specification

Having regard to the Connacht Rugby Constitution provision that the Board shall govern the management and administration of Connacht Rugby, applications are welcome from candidates with experience of scale and/or qualifications in finance, business, law and organisation strategy and delivery. While experience in one or more if these areas is desirable, the successful candidate must demonstrate the following essential competencies and experience:

Essential Requirements Chairperson:

1. Experience

  • Senior management and leadership experience at Board or senior management level in a work or not-for-profit organisation.
  • Experience of Playing, Coaching or Management in a Professional sporting and/or high-performance sport environment.
  • Knowledge of key competencies necessary to evaluate and assess matters relating to a Professional sporting and/or high-performance environment
  • Familiarity with the fiduciary role of a Board and Chair
  • Strong experience in the development and implementation of a successful strategy
  • Proven track record of delivery in a complex environment

2. Competencies

  • Effective Communication
  • Team building skills
  • Influencing skills capacity to secure commitment and facilitate change
  • Effective personal organisation and meeting skills

3. Personal Qualities

  • Personal qualities of credibility and integrity and a passion for ensuring continued success at Connacht Rugby.
  • A demonstrated commitment to the ethical culture and values of Connacht Rugby
  • Displays diplomatic skills and a natural affinity for developing strong relationships and persuading, convening, facilitating, and building consensus among diverse individuals.

4. Rugby 

  • A current member of an affiliated Connacht Rugby Club in good standing.page4image4030656

Connacht Rugby actively promotes fairness, respect, equality, diversity, inclusion, and engagement and is committed to continuous improvement.

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Candidates should please submit cover letter that sets out their motivation in applying for this position and their experience having regard to the above competencies and requirements,

together with an up-to-date CV to
The closing date for applications is Friday, 26th May 2023 at 3pm. Please submit cover letter and up

to date CV to
Please note, interviews will be held early the following week.

Selection Process:

The selection process is run by the Governance and Nominations Committee that will review all applications. Suitable candidates will be invited to interview. The outcome of the selection process will be a single successful candidate who will be nominated by the GNC to the Council for ratification