Port Elizabeth - The Southern Kings have confirmed the appointment of Leigh Heard as their new Chief Operations Officer.
After 27 years of involvement in professional rugby, Heard's wealth of experience is set to be exceedingly beneficial for the Eastern Cape franchise.
She replaces Charl Crous, who departs from the Southern Kings to join PRO14 Rugby in Ireland in his new position of Head of Operations.
Heard spent 22 years at The Sharks (Pty) Ltd where she held pivotal positions including Financial Manager (1994-2008), Chief Financial Manager (2008-2013) and Chief Operations Officer (2013-2014).
Since 2015 she has been consulting to various businesses, including the Southern Kings, with a strong focus on commercial, financial and operational aspects of business.
She holds a B.Com: Finance degree from the University of KwaZulu Natal.
"When we began our search for somebody to fill the position of COO, we were intent on finding an individual who would be able to see through our ambitious vision of turning this franchise around into the world-class entity we, as the GRC, envision," Southern Kings chairman, Loyiso Dotwana, said.
"Leigh not only comes with a wealth of experience from her involvement in professional rugby and business, but her traits as an accomplished leader, dedication, competence and loyalty is exactly what we need in this new era for this franchise.
"We welcome her, and wish her the very best in her new role."