Rob Andrew was the director of rugby at Newcastle    Getty Images
Rob Andrew was the director of rugby at Newcastle Getty Images

London: Former England fly-half Rob Andrew was named as the new chief executive of English county cricket side Sussex on Tuesday, the south coast club announced. Andrew, 53, was most recently the professional rugby director at England’s governing Rugby Football Union. Prior to joining the RFU, Andrew was the director of rugby at Newcastle where he oversaw the start of England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson’s celebrated career. As a player, Andrew appeared in 76 Tests – including five for the British and Irish Lions from 1985-1997. But he also has background in cricket, having played at first-class level when still a student at Cambridge University. Stiaan van Zyl signs 3-year Kolpak deal with Sussex; ends his Test career

Andrew will succeed Zac Toumazi at Hove-based Sussex in January. “I am thrilled and really excited to be joining Sussex,” said Andrew in a club statement. “The structures that have been put in place under the Sussex Cricket Limited umbrella have laid a very strong foundation for the future. I am looking forward to working with everyone connected with Sussex to help create success in professional cricket, recreational cricket and community programmes and ensuring that Hove remains a very special cricket ground.” He added: “I will be focusing on driving forward the strategy over the next few years and helping write the next chapter in the rich history of cricket in Sussex. These are exciting times for Sussex cricket and cricket in general and I can’t wait to get started. Alan Oakman: Sussex stalwart, part of Jim Laker s world record

Sussex chairman Jim May said: “I am extremely pleased about the appointment of Rob Andrew. He has exceptional experience, both playing and administering sport which will be of great help to our cricket management delivering success. Rob will be joining us at an important moment and he fully believes in our strategy of increasing the quantity and quality of participation in the recreational game.”

“This is designed to build a stronger player pathway to ensure that Sussex succeeds at the top level of cricket in the long term.” He added: “I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Zac, who leaves a strong legacy and with the thanks of everyone involved in Sussex cricket for his four years at the helm.”