Former Ireland lock Dr Mick Molloy has been named as the first Medical Officer of the International Rugby Board.
IRB Chairman Syd Millar welcomed the appointment
Molloy, currently medical advisor to the Irish Rugby Union and the Irish team doctor for many years, said he was "honoured and excited" to get the job.
"It is a very challenging but important role which will help ensure the highest standard of care for all players," said Molloy, capped 27 times.
"Best-practice medicine is critical to the well-being of all players."
Molloy's appointment was welcomed by IRB chairman Dr Syd Millar. who played alongside Molloy in the Ireland team of the 1960s.
"The IRB has to consider the important issues of player safety and welfare," said Millar.
"It was recognised that the IRB had a responsibility to develop best practice medical guidelines at all levels.
"The IRB has identified the need to help co-ordinate all the quality research work that is being conducted by our major Unions.
"This follows the IRB's commitment to fund medical/player welfare projects in England and France as part of the recently announced £30m Strategic Plan high performance investment initiatives."