Former Ireland and Munster doctor Dr Éanna Falvey has been appointed to the newly created position of World Rugby's deputy chief medical officer.
Dr Falvey will take up the role on March 1st, before replacing Dr Martin Raftery as chief medical officer in January 2020.
Dr Falvey has also worked for the British and Irish Lions and has covered boxing and football. He is a member of World Rugby’s medical commission conference and concussion working group.
On the appointment, World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said: “Player welfare is the number one priority for World Rugby and its unions and I believe that we are at the forefront of the sports movement in the important area of injury prevention and management.
“Dr Falvey is an outstanding appointment. He comes with an impressive CV, a great reputation and a deep knowledge of the sport’s approach to medical and player welfare matters, having made strong contributions to various World Rugby medical and concussion working groups and also as team doctor for Ireland and the British and Irish Lions.
“He has an in-depth understanding of wider sports and athlete welfare and we look forward to welcoming him to World Rugby.”
The outgoing Dr Raftery was appointed in 2011, and among the player welfare protocols he helped introduce is the Head Injury Assessment (HIA) process.
On Falvey’s appointment, he said: “As a sport we must and will continue to prioritise player welfare and this appointment underscores that commitment.
“I am delighted that Éanna is joining World Rugby. He is someone I have worked closely with in recent years and not only is he well-regarded within sport, he knows rugby inside out and is perfectly qualified having made strong contributions to our strategies. He is a great addition to the World Rugby team.”