The British & Irish Lions have appointed Dave Barton as Head of Communications..
With 25 years of experience in sport as a journalist and communications manager, he joins from the Rugby Football Union where he is the Senior England Team Communications Manager.
Barton, whose start date is to be confirmed, will lead the communications strategy and department for the British & Irish Lions and the 2017 New Zealand tour.
Communications manager for England at the 2007, 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups, Barton was media manager for the successful British & Irish Lions tour to Australia in 2013.
British & Irish Lions Chief Executive John Feehan said: “We identified that a full-time Head of Communications is vital as the Lions continues to grow to 2017 and beyond. We have gone through a recruitment process to find the right person to oversee our communications, including our growing digital channels as well as media relations. Dave was the outstanding candidate and we are delighted to have secured someone of his calibre.
“He has a wealth of experience with the RFU and England, including two tours to New Zealand in the last four years, and with the Lions in 2013. We are confident that under his leadership Lions communications will go from strength to strength.”
Barton said: “The British & Irish Lions is the ultimate touring team and I am excited about the opportunity to work with such a unique organisation. It has been an honour and a privilege to serve the RFU and England Rugby over the past decade and this is a chance to bring that experience to the Lions which has such a special place in rugby and sport.”
As a sports writer Barton specialised in rugby for the Western Morning News, Western Daily Press and as a freelance for national newspapers, covering the 2001 British & Irish Lions tour to Australia before joining the RFU’s Communications Department in 2002.