Rugby Players Ireland CEO leaves group in 'much stronger position than when he found it'
Rugby Players Ireland chief Omar Hassanein is leaving the organisation to take up a position as CEO of the International Rugby Player’s Association (“IRPA”).
Mr Hassanein served six years as CEO of Rugby Players Ireland after his appointment in April 2011.
In this time, Rugby Players Ireland has experienced significant growth and is regarded internationally as one of the world’s leading player associations.
Staff has grown from 2 to 13 during this six-year period and membership has soared, with past players now part of the organisation.
“It is sad to be leaving at what is such an exciting time for the organisation," Mr Hassanein said.
"It has been an absolute privilege to be involved in rugby in Ireland for the last six years during which time, we as a player’s organisation have been able to make considerable strides in improving the on and off field environment for Ireland’s rugby players thereby, contributing to the on-going success and development of the game in Ireland."
Simon Keogh, who has served as Operations Director & Head of Legal Affairs with Rugby Players Ireland since 2013 has been appointed as the Acting CEO and will lead the organisation pending the pending the required recruitment process.
British & Irish Lion, Irish International & Leinster stalwart and Rugby Players Ireland Chairman, Rob Kearney said that Omar leaves Rugby Players Ireland "in a much stronger position than when he found it – much like we as players try to do with our jersey".
"This is testament to Omar’s leadership and his success in working with the Board to grow and develop the Rugby Players Ireland team," he said.
"We are very grateful to Omar for the immense contribution he has made to Rugby Players Ireland and to the game of rugby in Ireland.
"It is a tribute to just how far we as a player’s organisation have come that Omar has been chosen to lead the International Rugby Players Association during the next stage of its development.
We wish him all the best and look forward to continuing to work with him in this new capacity.”