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Leinster CEO Mick Dawson to step down after 21 years

Leinster will begin the search for his successor in the coming weeks.

Departing Leinster Rugby CEO Mick Dawson.
Departing Leinster Rugby CEO Mick Dawson.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

LEINSTER RUGBY CEO Mick Dawson is stepping down from the position at the end of the season.

He held the position since 2001 as Leinster turned into a dominant force in European rugby, overseeing unprecedented success on and off the field.

Leinster won the Champions Cup four times to become the most successful Irish province, while also winning eight domestic league titles. 

The IRFU have announced they will start a detailed search for a replacement chief executive in the coming weeks. They have appointed the international recruitment consultancy, Korn Ferry, to assist them with the process.

“It’s been a difficult decision but after 20-plus years I think the time is right,” said Dawson.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, and I’d like to thank all the great people I’ve worked with over the years. Volunteers, administrators, staff, coaches and players.

“None of what Leinster Rugby has achieved would have been possible without the support, counsel and friendship of a huge coterie of highly talented and committed people.

“Over the years I’ve always enjoyed a great working relationship with the IRFU, our sponsors and supporters, a big thank you to one and all.

“Finally, thanks to my family for your encouragement and support over the last 20 years.

“I’m optimistic that Leinster can continue to grow and thrive both on and off the pitch in the coming years and I’ll enjoy watching and supporting from the side lines.”

IRFU chief executive, Kevin Potts, added: “I want to thank Mick Dawson on behalf of everyone in the IRFU.

“For more than two decades, Mick has led Leinster with passion and distinction. There is no doubt that as CEO he created a winning culture, committed the resources and provided the guidance that has helped to shape sustained success on and off the pitch for Leinster.

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“Mick has been a fantastic colleague to work with, always willing to challenge and always in the best interests of rugby, especially his beloved Leinster.

“I wish Mick and his family well in the future, he has left the Leinster jersey and the game in a better place than he found it, and that is a job well done.”

Comedian Michael Fry is our special guest on this week’s episode of The Front Row, in partnership with Guinness. Joining host Seán Burke, Eimear Considine and Murray Kinsella, he chats about his family’s rugby background and his short-lived playing days, before using his musical ear to rank the anthems of each Guinness Six Nations team. Click here to subscribe or listen below:


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