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Hugh McCaughey Appointed Ulster Rugby Interim CEO

Hugh McCaughey, the former chief of a health trust, is set to assume the role of interim CEO at Ulster Rugby following the departure of Jonny Petrie.

McCaughey boasts a rich background in rugby, having coached both Ulster and Ireland players at youth levels, and managed Ulster Rugby and the Irish Sevens team during the 2009 World Cup.

Expressing his enthusiasm for the new role, McCaughey stated, “I have been a passionate supporter of Ulster Rugby for over 40 years, and I am proud and delighted to be joining now as Interim CEO.”

Petrie’s departure from the province was mutually agreed upon earlier this week, paving the way for McCaughey’s appointment.

With prior experience as the CEO of the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, McCaughey brings a wealth of leadership expertise to his new position. Since retiring, he has been involved with various charities and served as the Chair of Crescendo since October 2022.

Furthermore, McCaughey’s involvement in rugby spans beyond his administrative roles; he has also coached at the school level and chaired the Ulster Rugby Academy from 2015 to 2019, nurturing talents like Rory Best, Stephen Ferris, Chris Henry, Tommy Bowe, and Andrew Trimble.

Reflecting on his extensive engagement with Ulster Rugby, McCaughey remarked, “Over the past decades, I have been involved with Ulster Rugby in many guises, including coach, manager, player, and a vociferous supporter on the terraces.”

While acknowledging the challenges faced by Ulster Rugby in recent times, McCaughey expressed optimism about the future. “Whilst the post is an interim appointment, I don’t see it as a case of holding the reins,” he said. “Ulster Rugby has recently faced challenges, but it is my belief that in the coming months, we can achieve much and also lay the foundations for future success.”

Paul Terrington, Chair of Ulster Rugby’s Management Committee, hailed McCaughey’s leadership experience and expressed confidence in his ability to make a significant impact. “He has a proven track record of delivering in the challenging area of healthcare,” said Terrington. “We are looking forward to seeing the impact he can have with Ulster Rugby.”


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