Glasgow Warriors yesterday announced the appointment of Nathan Bombrys as their new managing director.

The American who oversaw the commercial operation at English Premiership club Sale Sharks for seven years before taking the opportunity to move to Scotland in January, moves from his role as head of the commercial department at the Scottish Rugby Union.

Understood to have already made a significant impact in helping attract a string of sponsors to the professional clubs, Michigan-born and New York-educated Bombrys is also very much a rugby man who played the game for 17 years, captaining his university side before going on to qualify as a referee.

He takes over the running of the Warriors from Kenny Baillie who has stayed on at Scotstoun much longer than originally intended after quitting as chief executive before the summer in what is the first significant backroom change involving the professional teams since the new regime took charge at Murrayfield.

“The changes I’m announcing are a statement of intent about the future of the game in Scotland,” said Mark Dodson, who took over as SRU chief executive just a few weeks ago.

“The first few steps which we’ve announced today are hopefully just the beginning of what will be an exciting few years for us and all of Scotland’s rugby supporters.”

Yesterday’s official announcement from Murrayfield also stated that: “Nathan will have responsibility for the Glasgow pro-team’s budget management, commercial and match-day operations and oversee the move, ahead of next season, to their new permanent home at Scotstoun. He will be aided by a new business development manager and the club will also benefit from a full-time marketing manager and a new business support manager. These new roles will help to maximise the potential for Glasgow Warriors.”

The timing of Bombrys’ appointment is all the more propitious since it comes when the team’s on-field efforts are as promising as at any time in their history, with five successive wins including Sunday’s encouraging start to their Heineken Cup campaign and Dodson paid tribute to both the incoming and waygoing bosses of the club.

“This is an exciting time for Scottish Rugby and we want to give the professional teams in Glasgow and Edinburgh every opportunity to compete at the highest reaches of the game,” Dodson said yesterday.

“By expanding their resources, both on the field and behind the scenes, we believe we can compete with the biggest names in the sport and bring the success that the supporters are desperate to see.

“There is a real buzz around the Warriors set-up at the moment and it’s a great opportunity for Nathan to be part of that.

“I would personally like to thank Kenny Baillie for his dedication to Glasgow Warriors and wish him all the very best for the new start he is planning in London.”