British & Irish Lions appoint Jason Leonard as new chairman

Jason Leonard played 119 Tests including five for British and Irish Lions
Jason Leonard played 119 Tests including five for British and Irish Lions

Former England captain Jason Leonard has been confirmed as the new chairman of the British and Irish Lions board.

Leonard has already served as president of Barking RFC and also served as a Rugby Football Union Council as National Member from 2006 and as RFU President in 2015-2016. He is currently on the board of both the Six Nations and the British & Irish Lions.

The 50-year-old was awarded MBE in 2002 and the OBE two years later for his contribution to the game and was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2014.

“I 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," he told the official website of the British and irish Lions.

“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.”

The former prop has played 119 Tests including five four British and Irish Lions that came during 1993, 1997 and 2001 tours and went on to win four Six Nations title apart from claiming the World Cup in 2003. His professional rugby debut though came against Saracens in 1989 but most of his domestic career was spent with Harlequins as he racked up 290 appearances for them between 1990 and 2004.