Ex-Leicester Tigers boss Pat Howard gets Australia job

Pat Howard
Former rugby star Howard played 20 Tests for Australia

Former Leicester Tigers boss Pat Howard has been named as Cricket Australia's general manager for team performance.

The Australia head coach, captain and chairman of selectors will all report to the 37-year-old former rugby union international.

Howard has previously served as Australian Rugby Union's (ARU) high-performance manager.

"It is a great opportunity for anybody interested in sports leadership," Howard said.

The job is a new position, recommended by the Argus Review instigated in the wake of the Test team's 3-1 Ashes series defeat at home to England.

Howard, who played 20 times for the Wallabies, added: "The timing of the new role off the back of Argus Review makes this an exciting time in Australian cricket."

The Queenslander will start work in Brisbane in mid-November.

Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive James Sutherland said that Howard's experience in elite sport was a key factor in his appointment.

He said: "He has a background of success as a player, selector and coach, including 20 Tests as an Australian [rugby] player, as well as playing and coaching success with Leicester Tigers in England.

"He was also a high-performance GM [general manager] with the ARU.

"He brings vital qualities in what is a pivotal new role with a singular focus on Australian team performance.

"His priority will be ensuring that all of Australia's high-performance cricket programmes dovetail in a manner that helps us produce the best men's and women's teams in the world."

One of Howard's first tasks will be helping to choose a new head coach to replace Tim Nielsen, who quit after the recent tour of Sri Lanka. Australia are currently touring South Africa, with Troy Cooley acting as interim coach.