London Irish Rugby Club's new Operational Director Bob Casey: 'We'll bring glory days back'

London Irish Rugby Club's new Operational Director Bob Casey: 'We'll bring glory days back'

Bob Casey is hard to miss. The 6 foot 8 inches former Ireland international is a towering figure in more ways than one.

The former captain of London Irish had a distinguished 10 year playing career with the club, as lock forward.

He now brings his considerable presence and business acumen to the administration of the club as Operations Director.

Casey, who will be responsible for the club’s rugby and commercial activities, has also joined the main board of London Irish.

Originally from Maynooth, Co. Kildare Bob Casey is no stranger to the world of business.

After school at Blackrock College he went up to UCD where he gained an honours degree in commerce.

Even during his playing days, he continued to hone his financial skills with diploma courses - and he is currently studying for a Diploma in Advanced Management.

On retiring from his playing career in 2012 the Kildare man joined Powerday plc, the recycling and environmental waste management group, as senior business development manager.

It may seem like a huge step - international rugby to recycling and waste management - but Casey was ready for change.

“London Irish was a different club back then, and some things didn’t really chime with me," he says.

“I’d been on a four year contract, so knew that time was up. I enjoyed my two years at Powerday - but with the new owners at London Irish, I was more than delighted to come back into the game and back to the club.”

The Exiles seem to be equally pleased. London Irish president Mick Crossan, one of the new owners of the club, has already praised Casey’s passion for the club and his drive to guide it to ‘success in the upper echelons of rugby both in this country and in Europe’.

Bob Casey has had many unforgettable, glittering moments in his career.

“We’ve had some glory days here at London Irish - the Heineken Cup final in Twickenham, the final of the Guinness Premiership back in 2009. So we want to bring those glory days back, and I think we’re on the right track at the minute.

He adds: “Under the new owners, we’ve had a root and branch reassessment of the playing and coaching side of things; now we’re turning our attention to the commercial aspect of the club. We want London Irish to work as a business.

“With a secure grounding like that, we’ll be able to get the best players, and give them the best facilities and treatments. We're definitely on the right track to be able to challenge the top rugby clubs anywhere. We’ve a new coaching staff in place, and we’ll be investing in our academy to bring young players on. ”

Part of the overall plan for London Irish will be to both get involved with the local community - including the Irish in Britain community - and to strengthen links with Ireland.

Over the decades London Irish has included some of Ireland’s greatest players in its line-ups, including Mike Gibson, Victor Costello, David Humphreys, Simon Geoghegan and Ken Kennedy.

The club would now like to strengthen its Irish roots and continue attracting top class Irish players.

Casey’s own international career has brought him huge satisfaction.

"To play for your country is the ultimate honour, and I was lucky enough to play in the 1999 World Cup,” he says. “It was a tremendous feeling. I was also picked to play for the Barbarians against England at Twickenham - that was very special.”

The Irish Post are media partners with London Irish Rugby.