EPCR is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Paul McNaughton who served both as Chairman and as a board director of the tournament organiser of the Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup.

McNaughton was a highly influential figure during the management of EPCR’s transition from its former headquarters in Dublin to Lausanne in Switzerland when both his deep knowledge of rugby and his business expertise were brought to bear.

A multi-talented sportsman in his younger days, he had a distinguished career at club level for Wanderers FC and Greystones, and won 15 Ireland caps as a centre. He also played soccer at senior level for Bray Wanderers and Shelbourne, and Gaelic football for his native county, Wicklow. He was later a highly-regarded team manager both for Leinster Rugby and Ireland.

After graduating from Dublin University, he worked for the IDA (Ireland) in America before returning to Ireland to take up senior posts in finance at the Bank of Ireland and then Deutsche Bank. He left Deutsche Bank in 2004 after leading the sale of the bank’s global funds business before serving as a Non-Executive Director for several investment companies.

Dominic McKay, EPCR Chairman, said: “All at EPCR are hugely saddened to hear of Paul McNaughton’s passing.

“Many of us knew Paul well and recognise his significant contribution not just to EPCR, but to Irish rugby and the game more widely.

“Paul was a great supporter and friend of EPCR and a dedicated Director who helped shape key moments in our organisation’s development. He was highly regarded by all who worked with him, and indeed knew him.

“Our thoughts are with his family, particularly his wife Jean and three sons, and his friends.”

EPCR would like to extend its sincere condolences to his family and friends.