Jason Leonard, a former Lion, England
international and Past RFU President, has replaced Tom Grace as
Chairman of the British & Irish Lions Board.
Jason Leonardís first taste of Lions action came
on the 1993 Tour of New Zealand, part of a large England
contingent in the pack, when he was selected for the second and
But for the man who would later lift the Rugby
World Cup and for a time boast the most international caps with
114, 1993 was just the beginning of his Lions involvement.
Leonard appeared off the bench in the first
Lions Test of the historic series win in South Africa, doing the
same against Australia in two Tests four years later in 2001.
The example he set on those tours served to push
his teammates and front-row rivals to greater heights epitomising
what makes a great tourist.
His experiences with Britain and Irelandís elite
paved the way for Leonard to make history with his country amidst
a prolonged 14-year career, claiming a quartet of Grand Slams
alongside his World Cup success in 2003.
ďI am honoured to be asked to be the
Chairman of the British & Irish Lions and I look forward to
working with my fellow Board members, former Lions and the
Executive Team to make the 2021 Lions Tour to South Africa a
success on and off the pitch. I am excited to build on the great
work done by my predecessor Tom Grace and would like to thank him
for his guidance and dedication over the last number of years,Ē
Leonardís support for the Lions is unstinting
and in 2017 he helped launch the Pick of the Pride programme for
young ambassadors from the Home Unions to go on the Tour and
immerse themselves in the culture of New Zealand rugby, to
understand the challenges facing youth rugby globally and
establishing a network with their counterparts.
The game has huge affection for Englandís most
capped player who made no less than 290 appearances for Harlequins
in a career spanning both the amateur and professional game.
A former President of his club Barking RFC, he
served on the RFU Council as National Member from 2006 and as RFU
President in 2015-2016.
He was awarded the MBE in 2002 and the OBE in
2004 for services to sport and has been inducted in the World
Rugby Hall of Fame which recognises those who have made an
indelible mark on the game.
He was also the second recipient of The Prince
Obolensky Award presented by The Prince Obolensky Association to
those in rugby who embody the Corinthian spirit.
British & Irish Lionsí Managing Director Ben
Calveley said, ďI would like to congratulate Jason on his
appointment and am looking forward to working closely with him in
the coming years. His huge experience as a winning Lion, respected
globally as one of the greats of the game, coupled with his
business acumen will provide us with the insight required to
organise a successful Tour to South Africa.Ē
Pictures of The British and Irish Lions v The Barbarians in Hong
Pictures from 2019 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
Pictures from 2018 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens,
Pictures from 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens,
Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015,
Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong
Pictures of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015,
Pictures from the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong,
Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2014,
Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2013,
of Chartis Cup 2012 and
Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012.
British & Irish Lions,