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McGeechan wants Leeds to grow

02 August 2012

  • Leeds-born Sir Ian takes up Executive Chairman role at RFU Championship club
  • It's back to my old club really – McGeechan
Former British and Irish Lions coach Sir Ian McGeechan is eager to help Leeds Rugby grow after being appointed as the club's new executive chairman.

Photo: Getty Images

Former British and Irish Lions coach Sir Ian McGeechan is eager to help Leeds Rugby grow after being appointed as the club's new executive chairman.

The Leeds-born man has returned home after an illustrious career in the game having also coached the likes of Wasps, Scotland and Northampton.

McGeechan had been technical director at Bath and now the 65-year-old is keen to get his teeth into the Headingley club, who have found it hard to establish themselves in England's top flight.

Although the Leeds made club history by winning the Powergen Cup against Bath in 2005 they have found themselves being relegated from the Premiership with unwanted regularity.

McGeechan is relishing the challenge of helping Leeds improve their business and coaching structure and sees no reason why the club cannot develop further under the guidance of chief executive Gary Hetherington.

It's a new challenge for me – McGeechan

"It's back to my old club really. I'm trying to help not just on the rugby side, but the business side and head up the club in trying to take it forward as a business and rugby organisation," he told Sky Sports.

"It's a new challenge for me and something I'm looking forward to.

"I'll be helping mentor the coaches and just look at the rugby structures on one the hand and working with my old friend John Bentley and others in the marketing department in how we develop the club as a business.

"I'll be trying to make sure we have a really strong base from what is a lot of talent in Yorkshire and particularly through the academy, which has been successful.

"We know what the challenge is and we know we've got to try and develop that financial base which means we can be consistent as a business. Money does go in from individuals.

"Gary Hetherington has put a very good strategy together and that's what impressed me more than anything, working with sponsors and businesses in Yorkshire."

It has been suggested McGeechan's new role might hinder his involvement with the British and Irish Lions ahead of their tour of Australia, something he has played down.

"I'm an ambassador for the Lions so will have some involvement with them," he concluded. "The role here is part-time so I do have other things that I'll still be involved in. I'll be coming back here now. This is where I want to put a lot of my time and energy."