The new appointments come as the Lions step up their preparations ahead of their eagerly-anticipated Tour to South Africa in 2021 to face the newly-crowned World Champions.
Whelan, who has worked in a digital capacity on the last two Lions Tours to New Zealand and Australia, moves from the Guinness Six Nations where he was Director of Digital Communications & Marketing. His new role will see him oversee the Lions’ marketing communications and brand strategy, as well as being responsible for all digital output including platform development, social media and content.
O’Driscoll also moves from the Six Nations where she has worked as the organisation’s Chief Financial Officer for the last four years. She has previously held senior finance positions at Outsource, Dell and Global Crossing. Her remit will include responsibility for the Lions’ financial planning and strategy, together with managing all aspects of the finance and accounting functions.
“With just 14 months to go until the Lions Tour departs for South Africa, I am delighted to officially welcome Shane and Thelma to the Executive team,” said Calveley.
“Both are outstanding talents with proven track records and their broad experience and knowledge within the digital and financial sectors will be invaluable to the Lions.”
Whelan and O’Driscoll join recent recruits Tom Halsey (Commercial Director) and Alan Phillips (Operations Director) in the Lions Executive Team which started in December last year.