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British & Irish Lions add O’Driscoll, Whelan to executive team

The British & Irish Lions rugby union team has announced that Thelma O’Driscoll and Shane Whelan have joined the organisation as its new chief financial officer and director of digital, marketing and communications, respectively.

Both O’Driscoll and Whelan join the Lions with immediate effect and will report to managing director Ben Calveley. The appointments have been made ahead of the Lions’ upcoming tour of South Africa in 2021.

O’Driscoll joins the Lions from the Six Nations, where she has worked as chief financial officer for four years. She has previously held senior finance positions at Outsource, Dell and Global Crossing.

O’Driscoll’s remit will include responsibility for the Lions’ financial planning and strategy, together with managing all aspects of the finance and accounting functions.

O’Driscoll has been replaced as Six Nations chief financial officer by Ed Hepworth.

Whelan has worked in a digital capacity on the Lions’ last two tours to New Zealand and Australia. Whelan also joins from the Six Nations, where he served as director of digital communications and marketing.

Whelan will be responsible for the Lions’ marketing communications and brand strategy, as well as overseeing all digital output including platform development, social media and content.

Whelan and O’Driscoll join recent recruits Tom Halsey and Alan Phillips at the Lions, who started respective roles as commercial director and operations director in December.