Ruane played for the province in the late 1990s and wore Irish jerseys at Colleges and U21 levels. He joins after 15 years in the banking sector.
Sears stepped down last September for personal reasons and the IRFU’s Kevin Potts filled the breach. The absence of a full-time figure did not prevent the signing of Bundee Aki and Mils Muliaina from New Zealand but the scale of the task facing Ruane was made clear by IRFU CEO Philip Browne yesterday.
“Connacht face a number of commercial challenges but recent infrastructural investment and record crowds at the Sportsground shows the ambition of the province to grow the appeal of professional rugby in the region,” he said.