London Wasps Director of Rugby Ian McGeechan, incoming Chief Executive Tony Copsy, Vice-Chairman, John O'Connell
Former Llanelli and Wales lock Tony Copsey has landed the job of Chief Executive of reigning Heineken Cup champions London Wasps.
The 16-times capped forward Copsey faces the formidable task of preparing London Wasps for the Heineken Cup Pool 5 matches against 2006 Heineken champions Munster, 2007 European Challenge Cup champions ASM Clermont Auvergne and 2007 Heineken Cup semi-finalists Llanelli Scarlets.
Copsey, 42, worked for two seasons as the Marketing Director at Stradey Park before heading back to his native London, where he spent sevens years as Managing Director at Harlequins.
His move to the Quins' biggest London rivals ends a close season hunt by Wasps for a successor to David Davies as CEO. More than 100 applicants were considered before the club settled on Essex-born Copsey.
Having masterminded a threefold increase in turn-over at the Quins during his seven year stretch, as well as transforming the old Stoop ground into one of the best arenas in the Guinness Premiership, he will be joining the most successful English club rugby team of the past five years.
Following a successful relocation to Adams Park, High Wycombe in 2002, Wasps commercial revenue has grown by 50% in the last four years. On the pitch, the team has met with unparalleled success, culminating in the selection of 14 of the Wasps squad to participate in preparations for the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
"I'm delighted to be taking on the new role at London Wasps. It is a fantastic club that can boast one of the most successful teams in Europe over the last five seasons," said Copsey, who takes up his post in the middle of August.
"To be working with an old adversary in Lawrence Dallaglio, and coaches Ian McGeechan and Shaun Edwards, to name but three, is an immensely exciting prospect.
"Wasps has traditionally been a club which has achieved a lot from its resources. Business turn-over has grown by a respectable 50% over the last four seasons.
"It's everyone's goal to keep the club playing at the highest levels in the Premiership and Europe and, to ensure that becomes a reality, we need to maintain continued commercial growth.
"Most of our opponents are ensuring they have good, modern facilities at their disposal with the capacity to accommodate the anticipated growth in the professional game.
"Wasps already have the use of an excellent stadium, and a progressive and forward thinking stadium partner in Wycombe Wanderers FC. Wycombe have great plans to move forward and there is an exciting future ahead for both clubs.
"I'm looking forward to meeting the Wasps staff, players and supporters at Adams Park and working to strengthen the family feel and develop the match day experience. One of our key objectives in the short term will be to make sure that the Stadium is working to capacity throughout the season.
"I am excited about the prospect of working with the London Wasps Board of Directors to further their ambitions for the club.
"The Board is hugely committed and, having made substantial investment in the club in the past, I have no doubt it will continue to do so in order to get this club to where we want it to be in the near future."
London Wasps Vice-Chairman, John O'Connell said, "We are delighted to welcome Tony to the club.
"The vision of the London Wasps Board is to maintain the team's outstanding performance on the field - having won 10 trophies in the last 10 years- whilst improving our off the field performance to match.
"We know that a winning team is needed to achieve both and, in Tony Copsey, I'm convinced we have someone who can lead us forward. He has the right combination of an intimate knowledge of professional rugby plus proven business credentials.
"He came through a very strong field of candidates to get this role, and I congratulate him on doing that.
"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank David Davies for his unstinting commitment to London Wasps in the last three years, and to wish him every success in his future endeavours."