‘Grass Roots to Green Shirts’ – Cinderella Province to Guinness PRO12 Champions

Connacht took the brave decision to bare its soul and open up its whole organisation to independent review to help deliver on its ambition ‘To be the Best Province in Irish Rugby’ and win the first trophy in its 121-year history.

Client challenge:

  • Analysing why the desired approach of “The Vision driving the Leadership, the Leadership driving the Culture, the Culture driving the Performance and the Performance leaving the Legacy” was taking time to come to fruition.
  • Auditing skills gaps in the Connacht workforce and key business challenges that were leading to a misaligned and silo-ed business operation.
  • Facilitating full stakeholder buy-in to the province’s developing ‘Grass Roots to Green Shirts’ future strategic vision.


We came into the club to coincide with the appointment of the new CEO and immediately worked with him to help review existing practice and help find out what everyone really thought. The process involved:

  • Confidential and anonymous one-to-one interviews with all staff members – honest opinion.
  • Speaking to all Connacht’s partners and stakeholders externally including workshops held around the province’s five counties for all constituent clubs and schools.
  • Facilitating both Senior Management Team and Connacht Board day sessions to critically examine professional rugby’s and the provinces changing the landscape to 2020, and define what success would look like in 5 years’ time.


Connacht unified behind its inspirational new leadership team to publish its ‘Grass Roots to Green Shirts’ vision and move from 8th in the table to Guinness PRO12 champions in the one season, delivering a trophy to its supporters for the first time in the club’s 121 histories.

“Inside Track enabled us to develop a deeper understanding of the environment in which we operate and provided clarity to our strategic decision-making to help us achieve our goals.”

Willie Ruane

CEO, Connacht Rugby