Mairs named new rugby union correspondent of The Telegraph as Cleary takes a step back

Gavin Mairs has been named The Telegraph’s chief rugby union correspondent with Mick Cleary becoming chief rugby union writer. 

Cleary has decided to step back from the correspondent role, but will continue to contribute regularly to The Telegraph’s coverage. Mairs (pictured right) is promoted from his current rugby news correspondent role and will begin his new position with immediate effect. 

Cleary was last year named rugby journalist of the season after a vote from the 12 Premiership clubs, Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Football Union.

The award citation praised Cleary for “his commitment to the club game”, “the fairness of his reporting” and “his professionalism in dealing with rugby club media staff and with the coaches and players they are responsible for.”

In addition to these changes, Daniel Schofield is promoted to the role of  deputy rugby union correspondent, also with immediate effect.  

Adam Sills, Head of Sport at The Telegraph, said: “Mick has been a fantastic correspondent and I am delighted he will still be regularly writing for The Telegraph. Gavin is more than ready to fill his shoes and is thrilled to be leading The Telegraph rugby coverage into this exciting new era.”

Sills has also recruited Mike McGrath from The Sun as a football reporter. McGrath (right), who broke the story of Wayne Rooney’s one-off shock return to the England set-up in 2018, has been brought in as an addition to the team.

Pictured above: Cleary between Ian McGeechan and Jim Rosenthal