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Laois man scoops big job with British and Irish Lions ahead of 2021 Tour

Shane Whelan and Thelma O'Driscoll

The British & Irish Lions have announced two key appointments to its executive team – and a Laois man is one of them.

Shane Whelan has been named as Director of Digital, Marketing & Communications.

A past pupil of Scoil Mhuire in Abbeyleix and Heywood, Shane studied Broadcasting in Dun Laoighaire and had jobs in East Coast Radio, Setanta Sports and with the Press Association.

He also worked with Basketball Ireland as Media Manager for six years before joining 6 Nations Rugby at the end of 2012. At the time 6 Nations Rugby also incorporated the Pro12.

Speaking to LaoisToday previously, Shane explained how he was always “mad into sports”.

His late father Billy ‘Sabu’ Whelan was a selector with Georgie Leahy with the Laois hurlers in the early 1980s.

Thelma O’Driscoll joins as Chief Financial Officer and both join with immediate effect and will report to Managing Director Ben Calveley.

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.

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