London Irish has appointed former British and Irish Lions Assistant Coach Andy Keast as its new Head of Community.

The position, that is part of the Club’s senior management team, will see Andy take responsibility for the Club’s Community department which is tasked with developing the profile of rugby and London Irish among schools, clubs and the wider community.

The objective of the Club’s Community team is to create opportunities for all members of the community to participate in sport with consequent benefits to health, education and social inclusion.

Keast, who is returning to the United Kingdom after eight years in South Africa, brings a wealth of rugby and business experience to the Club.   He has managed a successful coaching and education business based in Durban and worked with a charity that generated over $2 million for vulnerable children.

His extensive rugby knowledge and experience includes Director of Coaching for the Natal Rugby Union, Assistant Coach of the 1997 British and Irish Lions, Director of Coaching at Harlequins and Head Coach at London Irish from 1999 to 2001.

Announcing the appointment Bob Casey, Chief Executive of London Irish said, “Andy combines a wealth of business and rugby knowledge that will be invaluable to the Club.  His world class coaching expertise will benefit our Community department as we seek to expand our delivery and make our programmes second to none in the country.  We are looking forward to welcoming him to Hazelwood in January.”

Andy Keast said, “I am delighted to be returning to London Irish.  I have happy memories of my previous time there and am excited about the Club’s vision and direction for the future.  I’ve seen from my experience in South Africa how important community engagement in sport can be and look forward to using that experience to enhance the good work already undertaken by the Club’s Community team.”

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