My job in Connacht: Willie Ruane Chief Executive Officer
Willie was born in Mayo and played rugby for Connacht in the late 1990s. He represented Ireland at Colleges and U-21 level and also lined out for the Barbarians. Willie was working in the banking sector for 15 years before he took the role as Connacht CEO.
He lives in Foxford, Co Mayo with his wife Elaine and three rugby-mad sons Billy (8), Tom (6) and Robert (5).
When did you join Connacht?
I joined Connacht Rugby as CEO in July 2014.
What do you do?
I am responsible for driving success at all levels across Connacht Rugby. Our vision is 'Grassroots to Green Shirts' and that helps us all remember why we do what we do. We want to ensure that every child in our province has an opportunity to play and enjoy rugby and that we have world-class systems in place to allow our emerging talent fulfil all of their rugby ambitions through playing in and with Connacht. The green shirts we speak of in our vision are not only the green shirts of Connacht but also the green shirts of Ireland.
What's a typical day for you?
Meetings, meetings and more meetings!
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is working with so many people who are extremely passionate about the growth and success of rugby in the west of Ireland.
Most memorable match?
Northampton v Connacht in 1997. I would have to say that as I was playing on the day. We won 20-17 and that win put us through to our first quarter-final of the Challenge Cup equivalent at that time. Northampton had six Lions in their squad that day and it was a huge result for Connacht Rugby in terms of belief in what we could achieve as a club.