Legendary Lion Sir Ian McGeechan has joined RFU Championship side Leeds Carnegie.
McGeechan has been appointed executive chairman at the Yorkshire club as they look to push for promotion back to the Aviva Premiership.
The 65-year-old left his role as director of rugby at Bath at the end of last season after two years at The Rec but has now been handed an immediate return to the game with what is effectively old club.
McGeechan represented Headingley RFC on the 1974 and 1977 Lions tours of South Africa and New Zealand and he can’t wait to get back involved with the team where his illustrious career really took off.
"I am delighted to have this opportunity to come back to where it all started for me and give something back to my club," said McGeechan.
"I want to do everything I can to help develop the strong base there is already established here so that Yorkshire talent continues to be given an opportunity to shine at Leeds Carnegie.
"The role of executive chairman is a new role for me but one that I am very excited about. I am keen to support the club in any way I can.
"I have been involved with setting up and developing a number of academies in my career and as an ex-School master I know the potential of youth within the best possible structure. An important part of my role will be to build relationships with businesses, sponsors and clubs across Yorkshire to create ultimately a sustainable base to build professional rugby here in Yorkshire.
"I was fortunate in my early Headingley days to be guided by older, wiser players who helped shape me as an individual and now all these years on, things have come full circle and I have the opportunity to do exactly the same."
Just three years ago, McGeechan was leading the Lions on their tour of South Africa as he cemented his position as one of the leading authorities in the global game.
The former Scotland centre was making his fifth tour as a coach (four as head coach and one as an assistant) and his seventh tour in total following his two adventures as a player.
McGeechan may not now be involved with front-line coaching in his new role but Leeds believe his experience of all things rugby will be a huge boost to their chances of re-establishing and sustaining top-flight rugby in the area.
"Sir Ian McGeechan Ian will have a number of key objectives that are not focused on coaching that he will be aiming to deliver on as we look to strengthen our business and fulfil our potential by returning to the Premiership," said Leeds CEO Gary Hetherington.
"As well as his obvious rugby expertise, Ian will also work closely with our commercial director Rob Oates and business development manager John Bentley to attract new sponsors and partners to the club.
"Ian is someone who is admired and respected throughout the sporting world. He has played and coached at the very highest level across the eras in rugby union from the amateur days, the transition to the professional game and in modern times.
"Although he is well known for his connections to Scotland and the Lions, he is a passionate Yorkshireman and importantly passionate about rugby union in Yorkshire and his addition to our Board of Directors is a major boost to the county."