// 2018 ANNUAL REPORT
2018 RUPA MEMBERS
2018 RUPA AWARDS
PLAYER SERVICES & ENGAGEMENT
HEALTH, SAFETY, INTEGRITY & INSURANCE
RUPA PLAYERS’ ALUMNI
PLAYER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM REPORT
// 2018 RUPA MEMBERS BRUMBIES
Semisi Tupou Jordan Uelese Mahe Vailanu Laurie Weeks
Dominque Du Toit
Henry Taefu Heath Tessmann Jeremy Thursh Elliot Turner Clay Uyen Markus Vanzati
* Australian Sevens and Super Rugby member.
// CHAIRMAN’S REPORT BRUCE HODGKINSON AM SC
2018 BEGAN IN FAIRLY UNIQUE CIRCUMSTANCES. RUGBY WENT THROUGH A GREAT DEAL OF UNCERTAINTY IN 2017, WHICH RESULTED IN THE HUGELY DISAPPOINTING DECISION TO AXE THE WESTERN FORCE. The conclusion of the Western Force saga, coupled with the finalisation of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, meant that Australia’s Rugby players headed into the new calendar year in a position of relative stability. Emotions certainly still ran high as a result of Rugby Australia’s decision to reduce our Super Rugby representation, and rightly so; it will understandably take many years for many to come to terms with that outcome, and a lot of people will forever
disagree with both the decision and the manner in which it was handled. However, it was universally acknowledged that it was important for Australia’s players to shift their focus towards what they could control, and with that in mind it was exceptionally important that RUPA looked to consolidate in 2018 and contribute to positive growth within the game. The resilience shown by the players in this context was admirable, and it is important to pay particular tribute to all of them for the manner in which they worked together to welcome relocated players to their squads, and to galvanise and gel within their teams so effectively in such a short space of time. Each of the four Australian Super Rugby teams won more matches this year than the year prior, while eight players were selected for their Wallaby debut; remarkably, none of those eight had
previously played more than three seasons of Super Rugby, each progressing rapidly to earn their first international honours and all of them showcasing ability and having a genuine impact at that level. At the other end of the scale, Will Genia and Sekope Kepu reached 100 Tests for their country, an outstanding achievement which highlights their tireless and loyal service to Australian Rugby. The Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens team have continually shown the way in recent years and in 2018 did so yet again, winning the World Rugby Sevens series despite farewelling numerous members of their 2016 Olympic Gold Medal winning team in the preceding 24 months. While the Men’s Rugby Sevens team hasn’t yet mastered that level of consistency, they showcased their very best to ensure a clean sweep for Australia at January’s Sydney Sevens and in the process created one of the lasting memories of the entire Rugby year.
Dean Mumm accepted RUPA’s offer to remain on our Board as an Independent Director, following his retirement as a player and subsequent relinquishing of the Presidency, in 2017. These appointments joined new President Damien Fitzpatrick, and Player Directors Scott Sio, Bernard Foley, Tom English, Shannon Parry OAM, as well as Co-opted Directors, Adam Wallace-Harrison and Sally Fielke. Damien’s commitment to ensuring Players have a seat at the table was evident through him volunteering considerable time and effort as part of the RUPA team involved in the negotiations for CBA V. He has shown a great aptitude for the position during his first twelve months as President. My sincere thanks to Damien and all Board Directors for the ongoing service and counsel they provide to myself and to RUPA.
This year we also farewelled Australia’s two highest capped Sevens players in Ed Jenkins and James Stannard. Ed and James have been trailblazers in the sevens game, and they have helped pave the way forward for those coming through in both the male and female ranks to be full-time professionals on the World Sevens circuit. I wish to acknowledge Ross Xenos who departed RUPA after serving as Chief Executive since March 2015. Ross first joined RUPA in early 2011, and his sterling service and unwavering commitment to always acting in the best interests of the players are the hallmarks of his tenure. After nearly nine years as the Player Development Manager (PDM) of the NSW Waratahs Lachlan McBain also leaves RUPA, and I wish to congratulate him too on all that he has achieved.
of ambition for the professional game’s growth and success. We need to strive to ensure young athletes wishing to make a living in the game choose Rugby ahead of other codes, a challenge when you look at the limited professional contracts within the game in comparison with those sports, and we also need to do the best job we can in keeping the best Australian Rugby players in Australia , a challenge when comparing the financial opportunities available here with those overseas.
Whilst the 2018 calendar year was one of stability for Australia’s players, it remains clear that the game is still facing a myriad of challenges here in Australia and that RUPA must play a key role in decisionmaking which is designed to reverse concerning trends.
One of the areas which sets Rugby in Australia apart from those other codes, and sets the playing experience here apart from some other countries, is the Player Development Program which RUPA has established, and which is the envy of many. In 2018, RUPA’s investment in our players as people outside of Rugby is again something which we are exceptionally proud of, and I urge all players to work with their PDMs to take advantage of our Training & Education Grants and the Player Development Program offerings in general.
Attendances and television ratings show the work that needs to be done, and whilst it is important to recognise the competitive sporting landscape here which sees Rugby competing directly with the AFL, NRL and A-League competitions, that cannot be used to justify any lack
RUPA was fortunate in 2018 to have great governance stability, with only three new faces joining the Board. Angus ScottYoung was elected by his peers at the Queensland Reds, while Lewis Holland will represent the Australian Men’s Rugby Sevens squad. We were also delighted that
The end of season Volvo RUPA Awards Lunch remains the one of the landmark features of the Australian Rugby calendar, and a wonderful opportunity to showcase our past and current players and Commercial partners, and I thank all who took the time to join us this year as we focused on the many things to celebrate within the game. Whilst we must always be aware of the challenges and areas where action is required, it is also important to acknowledge success. Finally, I want to welcome incoming RUPA Chief Executive Prataal Raj and reserve special thanks to Toby Duncan, RUPA’s General Manager of Player Services, who served as Interim Chief Executive for three months this year and conducted himself in outstanding fashion. We are also very lucky to have the services of Patrick Phibbs and Pete Fairbairn, who continue to work tirelessly as part of the RUPA team. To Prataal and the entire RUPA team, I thank you for your service and passion for the players and the game.
// PRESIDENT’S REPORT DAMIEN FITZPATRICK
“THE HARDER THE BATTLE, THE SWEETER THE VICTORY”, SO THE PHRASE GOES, AND WHILE 2018 PRESENTED SOME CHALLENGES FOR AUSTRALIAN RUGBY, IT ALSO UNEARTHED PLENTY OF PROMISE FOR THE FUTURE AND FEATURED A NUMBER OF WONDERFUL ACHIEVEMENTS BY THE PLAYERS ON AND OFF THE FIELD. I would like to begin by thanking my fellow players for electing me to serve them as RUPA President; it is a great honour and responsibility to represent our membership. I would also like to acknowledge the outstanding service of our departing President Dean Mumm, who helped direct and guide one of the most challenging
years in the Australian professional Rugby history in 2017. Dean was exceedingly dedicated to his role of President of RUPA and helped achieve some ground-breaking outcomes in CBA V. I also wish to recognise and thank former Chief Executive Ross Xenos on behalf of the players, following his departure in the second half of 2018. Ross has played a critical role in ensuring the voice of the players is held in the highest esteem, with a legacy which includes negotiating two Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) in his tenure, achieving pay parity for Women’s Rugby Sevens players, industry-leading pregnancy policy and the substantial evolution of the Super Rugby contracting model. I would also like to formally welcome our new Chief Executive Prataal Raj, who joined us late in 2018, on behalf of the players. I look forward to working with him in 2019.
Alongside my peers on the Board of Directors, Shannon Parry, Angus Scott-Young, Bernard Foley, Lewis Holland, Scott Sio and Tom English, it has been a pleasure and a great privilege to represent our playing group at RUPA President in 2018. I also want to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly thank our Chairman Bruce Hodgkinson AM SC and other Board Directors Sally Fielke, Dean Mumm and Adam Wallace-Harrison for their counsel and assistance as I found my feet in this role. With renewed collective unity following the signing CBA V in late 2017 and in the wake of the decision to axe the Western Force, RUPA has approached 2018 as a year in which consolidation, compliance and regeneration was key. After the events of 2017, to forge a positive way forward for Australian Rugby and its’ players required sound, assertive leadership, a role we all felt RUPA could play.
Critically, all player contracts from the Western Force were honoured in 2018, assisting those players affected with the options that were available. Players had the opportunity to stay in Perth and represent their side in the NRC, relocate to another Australian Super Rugby team or be granted an early release to pursue other playing or non-playing options Allowing players and their families the opportunity to move into the next chapter of their lives with security after an extremely stressful and challenging time was of the utmost importance. At a Super Rugby level, the NSW Waratahs topped a very competitive Australian conference and made a run into the finals. We eliminated the Highlanders at home in the first week of finals, however the task to take down a very strong the Lions team in Johannesburg proved too great and we were eliminated at the Semi Final stage. The Melbourne Rebels and Brumbies finished two wins behind the Waratahs, and the Queensland Reds one win further back. On the whole, it was a hard-fought conference which showcased some brutal Australian derbies. The 2018 Super Rugby season also saw the induction of new group of players into the RUPA Centurion’s Club. I want to congratulate all nine Australian players who reached 100 Super Rugby appearances in 2018; James Slipper, David Pocock, Henry Speight, Sam Carter, Paddy Ryan, Kane Douglas, Tevita Kuridrani, Bernard Foley and Colby Fainga’a. The Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens team again led the charge on the national stage in 2018, securing their second World Rugby Sevens series title and winning Silver at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. A big congratulations on such a successful season! The Australian Men’s Rugby Sevens
finally broke their cup final hoodoo when they followed the women by winning in Sydney in front of a huge home crowd.
has us leaving the game as better people than we were when we first became professionals.
The Wallabies played a captivating June series against an in-form Ireland team. The series went down to the wire with the Irish taking a narrow series victory after three enthralling contests. Whilst the Rugby Championship and Spring Tour saw some tough results, the blooding of a handful of exciting new players and some wonderful individual performances have provided a glimpse what is going to be a fascinating Rugby World Cup in 2019.
Our grasp of the rich cultural diversity within our playing ranks continues to grow, along with almost every single player making significant progress with their external chosen vocation; be it study, short courses or work experience. RUPA has and will always advocate personal development as a vital part of helping grow us as people away from the sport of rugby. We are all indebted to the tireless work of RUPA’s Player Development Program staff; Rosemary Towner, Gina Rees, Kim Gray, Robin Duff, Lachlan McBain and Matthew Smith for the way in which they assist this personal development of players.
The Buildcorp Wallaroos were rightly given the chance to shine on the same stage as their male counterparts, playing Double Header matches against New Zealand at ANZ Stadium and Eden Park. This came on the back of the maiden Buildcorp Super W season, clinched by NSW after Ash Hewson’s dramatic penalty goal against Queensland in the Final, and showcasing a huge array of talent in the women’s fifteena-side game. Congratulations also to the Fiji Drua, who secured their first National Rugby Championship (NRC) title in 2018 with a narrow victory over Queensland Country at Churchill Park in Lautoka; they played breathtaking Rugby and deservedly come out on top at the end of the season. Off the field our players continued to shine as positive role models, playing an exceptionally important role in promoting our game and representing it with pride. The hours spent within the community encompassing everything from inspiring the future stars of tomorrow, to uplifting those people less fortunate, is some of the most important work that we can do as players. These kinds of actions not only help us grow the game but also allow players to establish a personal legacy, which hopefully
To the staff at RUPA Head Office, I want to thank you for the tireless work you do to protect, promote, support and do everything in between for RUPA members past and present; your work does not go unnoticed. Finally, as we head into a Rugby World Cup year, I look forward to continuing to serve in the role of President and helping to lead our united playing group and help shape the future of the game in Australia.
// CEO’S REPORT PRATAAL RAJ
I AM EXTREMELY PROUD TO HAVE JOINED RUPA AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER IN 2018, HAVING BEEN APPOINTED IN OCTOBER AND OFFICIALLY BEGUN IN THE ROLE IN NOVEMBER. Having worked in a number of different roles within professional sports over the past decade and a half, I’m excited to represent the players’ rights and opportunities, and help them to develop away from Rugby, as RUPA works to influence the direction of the game in Australia. I am extremely pleased to be able to say I’ve inherited a passionate and committed staff, and a driven and dedicated Board of Directors, and I wish to place on record my sincere thanks to my predecessor Ross Xenos for departing RUPA with the organisation in such a strong place.
In June of this year, RUPA Chairman Bruce Hodgkinson SC AM was recognised on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). Bruce has served as the Chairman of RUPA since late 2010 and over the last eight years, he has played a crucial role in leading the evolution of RUPA and of Rugby to become a more inclusive and diverse game for all. Bruce’s contributions to RUPA and to Rugby come at a direct cost to the time he can devote to his personal life and professional career as a pre-eminent Senior Counsel specialising in employment, contract, trade practices and sports law. This is a voluntary position for Bruce for which RUPA and its members are incredibly fortunate to have hundreds of hours of his time annually dedicated to supporting our members to be better people, better players and to live better lives. On behalf of everybody at RUPA, I extend the heartiest
of congratulations to Bruce. One of the things that instantly struck me since commencing the role is the extraordinary amount of time and energy our players put into their personal development, and life away from Rugby in general. It is heartening to see players with one eye firmly fixed on life beyond playing professional sport. Whilst the credit rightly sits with them it’s also important to acknowledge the hard work of RUPA’s Player Development Managers (PDMs) who provide all types of support, from trusted counsel to administrative assistance and more, to enable the players to not only commit time but to excel in this area of their lives. In 2018, 69% of our players undertook formal study at either University or Vocational level, a number we can be truly proud of. Most encouragingly, over 30 players were in their first year of a course.
It is important for RUPA to maintain strong relationship with key stakeholders at Rugby Australia and the Super Rugby teams, and I want to place on record my thanks to Raelene Castle, Andrew Hore, Baden Stephenson, David Hanham and Phil Thomson, as well as their respective staff, for their collaboration with RUPA this year. While our organisations have different priorities, which result in our views contrasting at times, the manner in which we interact has been respectful and fair. My thanks to the RUPA Board of Directors for their tireless work, completely voluntary, in leading our organisation. The playing group is incredibly fortunate to have a Board which is committed to ensuring their best interests are at the heart of every action and key decision taken. players moving to new Clubs, with our PDMs playing a critical role in assisting with their relocation and transition, however RUPA also ensured that we remained in close contact with the players who were contracted to remain in Perth and compete in both World Series Rugby and the National Rugby Championship (NRC). We worked with Minderoo and RugbyWA to ensure player entitlements were consistent with those of their Super Rugby counterparts, and I express thanks to those organisations and in particular to former RUPA Board Member Matt Hodgson for conducting those negotiations in good faith and retaining a focus on the wellbeing of players. The most popular area of University study pursued by players is in Business and Commerce, followed by Physical Health and Sports Science among 16 different courses. Courses studied by non-University means includes Fitness, Aviation, Real Estate, Language, Marine Operations, Acting and Barista courses, through many different face-to-face, distance and online providers. RUPA is exceptionally proud of the annual Training & Education (T & E) reimbursement grants we offer to players whilst full-time contracted in Australia, and for up to three full years after they retire from Australian Rugby, and this investment we make in our players is an incredibly important part of our story. 2018 also marked the first year of players making a $250,000 direct investment into performance and wellbeing support services across the Super Rugby teams and both Rugby Sevens programs, with some excellent outcomes already achieved. The first season of Super Rugby without the Western Force saw a number of
RUPA is very fortunate to be blessed with loyal and valuable commercial partners who provide vital support and services which directly benefits the players. I would like to personally thank; •
Greg Bosnich from Volvo Cars Australia
Gary McMahon and Andrew Fotheringham from NAB Private
Grant Saxon and Clayton Eveleigh from BDO
Jason Hill from Allianz Stadium
Karl Truijens from PSC Australian Reliance
Campbell Fisher, Rod Marshall and Matthew Peterson from FCB
Mitchell Taylor and Emmalene Lovelock from Taylors Wines
Josephine and Tony Sukkar from Buildcorp
Rhys James from Open Universities Australia
Matthew Gribble from Page Group
David Segal, Chelsea Spindler and the team from Front Row Group.
To the RUPA staff, both at the Camperdown office and within our Player Development Program stationed around the country, your dedication is appreciated and certainly felt strongly. I would like to particularly thank 2018’s departing PDMs Gina Rees and Lachlan McBain for their hard work and wish them the very best for the future. Thanks to Matti Clements, Gerard Phillips, Seamus Dalton, Richard Breden, Tom Kingston, Benn Robinson, Cameron Day, Braham Dabscheck, Pat McCutcheon, Tim Rapp and John Langford for volunteering their time and energy to sit on joint RUPA/ Rugby AU committees. I wish to thank every player who contributed to RUPA in 2018 and shaped the direction of our organisation, many in ways they will not even know. From our fully professional players playing for the Wallabies, in Super Rugby and on the World Rugby Sevens series, to the semi-professional and amateur players who represent the Wallaroos, play in the NRC and Buildcorp Super W, and represent their states and country at an Under 20s and Schoolboy level, congratulations on your achievements on and off the field this year. I look forward to joining you on the journey throughout 2019.
// RUPA BOARD
DAMIEN FITZPATRICK PRESIDENT
BRUCE HODGKINSON AM SC CHAIRMAN
PLAYER DIRECTOR WARATAHS
PLAYER DIRECTOR REDS
PLAYER DIRECTOR REBELS
SHANNON PARRY OAM
PLAYER DIRECTOR MEN’S SEVENS
PLAYER DIRECTOR WOMEN’S SEVENS
PLAYER DIRECTOR BRUMBIES
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
// 2018 RUPA AWARDS LUNCH PRESENTED BY VOLVO
RUPA MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AUS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Presented by Volvo
Presented by Taylor’s Wines
Winner DAVID POCOCK
Winner(s) EVANIA PELITE + DAVID POCOCK
Finalists: Rory Arnold Israel Folau Will Genia Michael Hooper Samu Keveri Anaru Rangi Taniela Tupou
Finalists: Emily Chancellor Emilee Cherry Will Genia Dane Haylett-Petty Lewis Holland Michael Hooper Ben O’Donnell Izack Rodda
MEN’S SEVENS PLAYERS’ PLAYER
WOMEN’S SEVENS PLAYERS’ PLAYER
Presented by PSC Australian Reliance
Presented by NAB Private
Winner BEN O’DONNELL
Winner EVANIA PELITE
Finalists: Lachlan Anderson Maurice Longbottom John Porch James Stannard
Finalists: Charlotte Caslick Emilee Cherry Dominique du Toi Emma Tonegato
ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD
Presented by Open Universities Australia
Presented by BDO
Winner SAM CARTER
Winner JED HOLLOWAY
Finalists: Tom Cusack Wharenui Hawera Tom Robertson Fereti Sa’aga
Finalists: Allan Alaalatoa Richard Hardwick Locky McCaffrey Andy Muirhead
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
NRC PLAYERS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Presented by Allianz Stadium Winner FOLAU FAINGA’A
Winner JORDAN PETAIA
Finalists: Jack Maddocks Will Miller Ben O’Donnell Jordan Petaia
Finalists: Quade Cooper Tom English Jordan Jackson-Hope Alivereti Veitokani
// PLAYER MILESTONES
50 WALLABY CAPS
100 SUPER RUGBY CAPS
Brandon Paenga-Amosa vs. Ireland, 9th June 2018
Scott Sio vs. South Africa, 29th September 2018
James Slipper vs. Stormers, 24th March 2018
Caleb Timu vs. Ireland, 9th June 2018
David Pocock vs. NSW Waratahs, 31st March 2018
100 WALLABY CAPS
Peter Samu vs. Ireland, 9th June 2018
Sekope Kepu vs. New Zealand, 27th October 2018
Henry Speight vs. Jaguares, 22nd April 2018
Jermaine Ainsley vs. New Zealand, 18th August 2018
Will Genia vs. England, 24th November 2018
Sam Carter vs. Crusaders, 28th April 2018
Jack Maddocks vs. New Zealand, 18th August 2018
Paddy Ryan vs. Blues, 5th May 2018
Folau Fainga’a vs. New Zealand, 25th August 2018
Kane Douglas vs. Sunwolves, 12th May 2018
Tom Banks vs. New Zealand, 25th August 2018
Tevita Kuridrani vs. Lions, 19th May 2018
Jake Gordon vs. Italy, 17th November 2018
Bernard Foley vs. Reds, 2nd June 2018 Colby Fainga’a vs. Reds, 6th July 2018
2018 CAPPED WALLABIES 2018 CAPPED WALLABIES Jermaine Ainsley, Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tom Banks, Kurtley Beale, Adam Coleman, Jack Dempsey, Folau Fainga’a, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Jake Gordon, Ned Hanigan, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Michael Hooper (Captain), Sekope Kepu, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Tolu Latu, Jack Maddocks, Sefanaia Naivalu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Nick Phipps, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Joe Powell, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda, Peter Samu, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Caleb Timu, Matt To’omua, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (formerly Tui), Taniela Tupou
2018 CAPPED WALLAROOS Mhicca Carter, Emily Chancellor, Rebecca Clough, Melissa Fatu, Fenella Hake, Grace Hamilton, Alisha Hewett, Evelyn Horomia, Atasi Lafai, Kiri Lingman, Crystal Maguire, Michelle Milward, Cobie-Jane Morgan, Mahalia Murphy, Hana Ngaha, Georgia O’Neill, Shanice Parker, Liz Patu (Captain), Trilleen Pomare, Sarah Riordan, Emily Robinson, Alice Tonumaivao, Samantha Treherne, Darryl Wickliffe SUPER RUGBY DEBUT Brumbies: Mees Erasmus, Folau Fainga’a, Connal McInerney, Michael Oakman-Hunt, Darcy Swain, Rob Valetini Melbourne Rebels: Tayler Adams, Pone Fa’amausili, Sama Malolo, Geoff Parling, Mahe Vailanu NSW Waratahs: Harry Johnson-Holmes, Nick Palmer, Kalivati Tawake, Brad Wilkin
WORLD RUGBY SEVENS SERIES DEBUT (2017-18) Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens: Lauren Brown, Lily Dick, Page McGregor, Yasmin Meakes Australian Men’s Rugby Sevens: James Armstrong, Henry Clunies-Ross, Tom Connor, Sam Croke, Harrison Goddard, Matthew Hood, Maurice Longbottom, Matt McTaggart, Lachlan Miller, Ben O’Donnell, Joe Pincus, Nicky Price, Triston Reilly, Jeral Skelton
Queensland Reds: Angus Blyth, Filipo Daugunu, Harry Hockings, Harry Hoopert, Tate McDermott, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Jordan Petaia, Angus Scott-Young, Teti Tela, Liam Wright
2018 JUNIOR WALLABIES Angus Blyth, Lawson Creighton, Matt Faessler, George Francis, Harrison Goddard, Charlie Hancock, Mack Hansen, Esei Ha’angana, Harry Hockings, Harry Hoopert, Trevor Hosea, Tony Hunt, Len Ikitau, Josh Kemeny, Tom Kibble, Bayley Kuezle, Isiah Latu, Ryan Lonergan, Isaac Lucas, Hugh Margin, Efi Ma’afu, Sama Malolo, Tate McDermott, Fraser McReight, Matt McTaggart, Josh Nasser, Jordan Petaia, James Ramm, Tom Ross, Hayden Sargeant, Justin Sikimeti, Hamish Stewart, Rory Suttor, Patrick Tafa, Lawrence Tominiko, Semisi Tupou, Rob Valetini, Michael Wood
// PLAYER SERVICES & ENGAGEMENT TOBY DUNCAN
TEAM VISITS & RESEARCH 2018 kicked off with the formal announcement of agreement to CBA V and a thorough education process during our January team visits, working through the detail of the new CBA V. Having CBA V lock away Australian Rugby’s professional employment framework and conditions until 2020, this freed up RUPA’s focus to other areas.
One such important focus area identified was to gain an understanding of the players’ view of Australian Rugby as an employer of choice. This required an understanding of the elements that drive player satisfaction within their teams and to evaluate and compare these drivers across different high-performance environments. In our mid-season Team Visits, RUPA undertook this significant piece of research through Gemba, producing the 2018 RUPA Player Wellbeing and Satisfaction Report. Specifically, the Report sought to: •
Identify areas of opportunity for each program to improve player and team performance by fostering a more inclusive, supported and balanced environment;
Inform each high-performance program and RUPA of the perception of their current playing group with respect to wellbeing, off-field development and general satisfaction;
Generate insights to inform Player Development Managers (PDMs) on the current status regarding the wellbeing of players; and,
Communicate to the industry a realistic and holistic picture of the players’ perception of Rugby as a Sport and Employer of Choice.
The results of this Report were subsequently presented to each teams’ senior management group (CEO, Head Coach, GM of Rugby) and was then followed by player focus groups seeking to dive deeper into the detail of the findings and generate player-led outcomes in areas to be improved.
involvement as the competition evolves and provides a unique point of difference for Rugby in the Asia-Pacific region.
SUPER W & WALLAROOS 2018 saw the introduction of the Buildcorp Super W competition, a welcome introduction for the Womenâ€™s game in Australia, with five Australian teams competing in a round robin competition ahead of a three-team finals series. RUPA surveyed all players at the conclusion of the competition; the following key findings are presented from the 2018 Super W Player Insights Report:
82.29% of respondents rated their Super W experience as good or excellent
How old are you? 17-19
of respondents were 26 or older
30+ 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
An additional aim of this Report was to inform focus areas for Player Wellbeing and Performance Investment Grants for 2019. Further, these insights provided quantitative data to be factored into the Australian Institute of Sportâ€™s report into the RUPA Development Program The insights gained from this Report were incredibly powerful and RUPA will continue this research over time to evaluate the progress Rugby can make in order to be viewed as a Sport & Employer of Choice.
WESTERN FORCE Despite the heartbreaking decision to remove the Western Force from the Super Rugby competition, effective as of the 2018 season, the intervention of Andrew Forrest ensured that professional Rugby remained alive in Western Australia
through World Series Rugby and the NRC. Pleasingly, RUPA was able to maintain its connection to the Western Force by continuing to represent the players as RUPA members and playing a central role in the agreement of the Standard Player Contract for World Series Rugby. In late 2018 as Global Rapid Rugby (GRR, formerly World Series Rugby) began to take shape, RUPA continued its player advocacy role in the negotiation of the Standard Player Contract and Tournament Manual. Given the unique nature of the tournament, this involvement was in conjunction with Pacific Rugby Players (PRP) and work remains ongoing as the competition looks to establish itself with the global Rugby landscape. We thank GRR for the good faith nature in which they have involved RUPA and PRP and look forward to our continued
Are you from an Indigenous or Pasifika heritage?
37% Yes, Indigenous
of respondents were from a Pasifika background
Yes, Pacific Islander
Studying or working? ANSWER CHOICES
IN COMPARISON TO YOUR CLUB RUGBY, PLEASE RATE THE FOLLOWING REGARDING THE SUPER W: INCREASED GREATLY
STANDARD OF PLAY
STANDARD OF COACHING
STANDARD OF SUPPORT STAFF
STANDARD OF TEAM MANAGEMENT
OVERALL RUGBY DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
2018 vs. 2017 NRC
The 2018 National Rugby Championship (NRC), the fifth iteration of Australian Rugby’s third tier, continued to demonstrate its importance in the professional pathway, providing nearly 200 opportunities to non-contracted players as well as coaches, support staff and match officials from Club Rugby competitions across the country.
40% of players said their 2018 NRC 2018 Wellbeing and Performance Investment experience improved on 2017. Comparative responses were 68% in 2017 and 64% in 2016. A key outcome of CBA V was the players’ investment
An outcome of CBA V was the incorporation of the 2018 NRC MOU into the longform CBA. This solidifies the future of the NRC and its key provisions, most notably: •
Player Contracting Rules and Benefits;
Compulsory nature of the RUPA Player Agent Accreditation Scheme;
Increased top up insurance for all non-contracted players; and,
Guaranteed minimum payment for all non-contracted players, including those subsequently added to squads not originally in the initial 33.
RUPA once again surveyed all 2018 NRC Players, with five years of comparative data to evaluate the evolution of the competition. Unfortunately, a number of key satisfaction metrics were down across the competition. This reflected the lack of clarity in what the NRC is trying to achieve; is it a genuine high-performance program or a development opportunity for young players and coaches? This theme reflected the differing approaches of State Unions.
2018 NRC PLAYERS’ SURVEY REPORT 2018 NRC EXPERIENCE 82% of players said their overall 2018 NRC experience was positive. Comparative responses were 96% in both 2017 and 2016.
NRC STANDARD OF PLAY
As a demonstration of the players commitment to win
47% of players said the standard of play in 2018 improved on 2017. ComparativeCup finals, gold medal matches, at a Super Rugby or N responses were 68% in 2017 and 70% Clubs, players are making a $250,000 direct investmen in 2016. 2019 NRC PARTICIPATION
services each year of CBA V.
77% of players said, if selected they would An participate in the 2019 NRC. Comparative responses were 93% in 2017 and 96% in 2016.
overview of this investment in 2018:
PREPARATION 49% of players said that preparation for the tournament was either not good, or poor. Significant deterioration was noted by players in 2018 due to the reduced preparation time prior to the commencement of the 2018 NRC. Predominantly driven by the NSW Shute Shield. Comparative responses were 43% in 2017 and 21% in 2016.
2018 WELLBEING AND PERFORMANCE INVESTMENT A key outcome of CBA V was the players’ investment into their own highperformance programs. As a demonstration of the players commitment to winning games of Rugby, be they Rugby World Cup finals, gold medal matches, at a Super Rugby or NRC level, or back with their Premier Rugby Clubs, players are making a $250,000 direct investment into performance and wellbeing support services each year of CBA V. An overview of this investment in 2018:
2018 Delegates 20
In 2018, eleven players served as RUPA Delegates, acti Directors excl. Western Force) as well as an additional
nto their own high-performance programs.
nning games of Rugby, be they Rugby World NRC level, or back with their Premier Rugby nt into performance and wellbeing support
ing as support for their RUPA Player Board conduit between RUPA and the players. We
2018 DELEGATES In 2018, eleven players served as RUPA Delegates, acting as support for their RUPA Player Board Directors (excl. Western Force) as well as an additional conduit between RUPA and the players. We thank them for their time and commitment. •
Brumbies: Ben Alexander & Lachlan Mccaffrey
Melbourne Rebels: Ross Haylett-Petty & Sam Talakai
NSW Waratahs: Michael Hooper & Andrew Kellaway
Queensland Reds: Duncan Paia’aua & Caleb Timu
Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens: Alicia Quirk
Australian Men’s Rugby Sevens: Ben O’Donnell
Western Force: Ian Prior
HIGH PERFORMANCE A key outcome of the CBA V negotiation was RUPA’s place on the newly constituted Australian Rugby High Performance Panel, charged with overhauling and centralising Australian Rugby’s disparate high performance ecosystem. This unity of purpose
provides a shared objective which will be pivotal to drive cultural and behavioural changes that will be necessary to improve the current Australian Rugby High Performance system. Throughout 2018, the Panel work focused on Talent ID & Development systems, Academies & Pathways, Contracting Structures and Super Rugby & Wallaby collaboration. The Panel also considered and debated the Wellbeing & Performance grants for 2019. This willingness to financially contribute to their own high performance programs, a first in Australian sport, is a clear demonstration of the players commitment to the long term sustainability of the game. AGENTS
In 2018, RUPA managed the Accreditation of 46 Player Agents and 6 Provisionally Accredited Agents based in Australia and overseas. The negotiation of CBA V and Rugby Australia presence on the Board demonstrated the legitimacy of the Scheme, and greater compliance was enforced by the Agent Accreditation Board with the support of the Rugby Bodies. The primary focus issues of the Scheme in 2018 were CBA education, implementation of the new contracting model, the development of World Series Rugby (Global Rapid Rugby) and the 2018 Accreditation Conference. The Board itself was consulted on various industry issues such as Illicit Drugs Policy, Player Insurance, 2018 NRC and legislative issues including changes to image rights tax and visas. The Board, through RUPA, maintained regular dialogue, with the Accredited Agent cohort through a variety of communication channels, which allowed the Board to communicate important information and updates to all Accredited Agents outside of the Accreditation Conference. In 2018, Chairman Richard Breden was also invited to address the HighPerformance Panel to discuss the Scheme and its role within the game, articulating the Board’s objectives, areas of concern, as well as reinforcing its regulatory purpose and industry-wide remit. Introduced in 2007, the RUPA Player Agent Accreditation Scheme aims to ensure that individuals and organisations representing Australia’s professional players demonstrate an appropriate level of understanding of Australian Rugby contracting and the key industry documents. The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) mandates that Rugby Bodies must only deal with Agents Accredited under the Scheme. By becoming Accredited, Agents also become bound by the Scheme Code of Conduct and become aware of the expectations that their players and RUPA hold in relation to the services that they provide. In order to become and maintain their Accreditation, all Agents must have: •
Attended the full-day, annual RUPA Agent Accreditation Conference;
Satisfactorily completed an exam based on the CBA and Scheme documentation;
Have in place Professional Indemnity Insurance to a minimum value of $1 million; and,
Made payment of the annual Agent
Accreditation Fee. The Board continued its firm stance on Agent conduct by revoking the Accreditation of Agents, as well as sanctioning others with fines, for the failure to adhere the minimum Scheme requirements. The Board has been and will continue to be vigilant in this area to protect the integrity of the Scheme for the benefit of all stakeholders. Whilst RUPA administers the Scheme on a day-to-day basis, it is governed by a five-person Board, operating under a charter established by the Regulations of the Scheme. The members of the Agent Accreditation Board in 2018 were: •
Mr Richard Breden, Independent Chairman
Professor Braham Dabscheck, RUPA Representative
Mr Nick Taylor, Rugby AU Representative (succeeding Mr John Langford)
Mr Cameron Day, Accredited Player Agent Representative
Mr Benn Robinson, Player Representative
John Langford concluded his time on the Board having served with distinction since its inception in 2007. The Board is extremely thankful for the contribution made by John over his years on the Board, bringing his domestic and overseas playing insight, commercial experience and broader industry perspective to the table. The Board wishes John success in his future endeavours. The Board welcomed Rugby AU National Contracting Manager, Nick Taylor, as John’s successor and looks forward to his continued perspective and insight which he brought to the Scheme in 2018. The major initiative of the Accreditation Scheme continues to be the annual Agent Accreditation Conference. The centralised conference model continued in 2018, enhancing the networking ability of the day and ensuring a consistency in the messaging and content delivered. The 2018 Conference, hosted by RUPA General Manager, Player Services & Operations Toby Duncan, was held at the Sydney Cricket Ground in June. It was attended by more than 40 Accredited Agents who received presentations on: •
CBA, Super Rugby, NRC & RUPA Update, Ross Xenos, RUPA CEO
State of the Game, Raelene Castle, Rugby AU CEO
Rugby’s Commercial Landscape, Peter Sciberras & Adam Freier, Rugby AU
World Rugby Regulations, Omar Hassanein & Isaac Boss, International Rugby Players
Elite Youth Development, Adrian Thomson, Rugby AU
International Player Development, Rosemary Towner (RUPA), Deirdre Lyons (RPI) and Ben McGregor (RPA)
High Performance & Player Contracting, Ben Whitaker & Nick Taylor, Rugby AU
2018 maintained the keynote speaker feature of the Conference, where we were fortunate to have Olly Wilton, Head of Sports Partnerships, Twitter Australia presenting on the use of Twitter in professional sport. RUPA and the Accreditation Board strongly believe that Accredited Agents are a key stakeholder in the game. The Board continues to maintain a high expectation of their ability to represent the best interests of their players and advocate robustly and ethically on their behalf. The Board wishes to acknowledge the important role they play on behalf of players and thanks them for their support and counsel to their players. We thank all Accredited Agents in 2018 for their support of the Scheme and ongoing services to players.
TAX EFFECTIVENESS RUPA, through the Australian Athletes Alliance (AAA), aggressively pursued advice in relation to the Federal Government’s proposed changes to image rights taxation for professional athletes. Given the prevalence of image rights structures within the Australian Rugby contracting landscape, this un-consulted change threatens the current contracting model, and we will continue to pursue this issue for the benefit of all members. RUPA advanced its dialogue with Anthony Jackson of KordaMentha in relation to the establishment of a retirement account structure for match payments and player transition. It is imperative that RUPA continues to drive an innovative and industry leading approach, both to access future revenue sources as traditional streams continue to be disrupted and explore new methods of retaining our top talent and facilitating players’ transition post their playing career.
// PLAYER HEALTH, SAFETY, INTEGRITY AND INSURANCE TOBY DUNCAN
PHSI COMMITTEE In 2018 the Committee membership was:-
Topics discussed in 2018 were wide and varied with discussion, particularly
Gerard Phillips – Independent Chairman, Partner K&L Gates
Patrick Eyers – General Counsel, RA
Ross Xenos – CEO, RUPA
Baden Stephenson – CEO, Melbourne Rebels
Review of the Rugby Australia AntiCorruption and Betting Policy
Ongoing monitoring of concussion information and developments
Benn Robinson – Player Representative, RUPA
Dr Warren McDonald – Chief Medical Officer, RA
Dr Seamus Dalton – Medical Advisor, RUPA
Gerard McEvily – Integrity Manager, RA Rosemary Towner – GM Player Development RUPA
Review of Player & Staff education system, including the formalization of the Player & Staff Education Accreditation Matrix
RUPA extends our thanks to members of the Committee for 2018.
Premiership Rugby, Shute Shield, Australian Schoolboys, Youth and Senior Sevens Championships: • Anti-Doping • Anti-Corruption & Betting Code of Conduct
NRC, Wallaroos, AON Uni 7s, Australian U20s and Super W: • Supplements Policy • Medical Policy
Super Rugby Teams and Australian 7s: • Professional Players Code of Conduct • Illicit Drugs • Member Protection & Inclusion
INTEGRITY ONLINE Following the comprehensive review undertaken in 2017, the streamlined system was implemented by RA for season 2018 across a number of levels of the game and will include Premiership rugby, Wallaroos, AON 7s, Super Rugby and Wallabies.
PLAYER INSURANCE In 2018, RUPA maintained its comprehensive mix of insurance policies safeguarding players from the financial impact of catastrophic injuries. The policy did not receive a claim notification during 2018. Although it is both regrettable and unfortunate that players careers are ended prematurely through unexpected and ultimately career ending injuries, such claims are validation for the policy’s continued existence and benefit for players. In respect of the 2018 NRC, an additional ‘top up’ policy for minimum additional $250,000 on both Accidental Death and Total Permanent Disablement for non-Contracted players was provided to complement the coverage provided by the RA Community Sports Injury Policy.
RUPA continued to manage the administration and placing of an Income Protection Insurance Policy for Career Ending Injuries through our incumbent broker, PSC Australian Reliance.
game and enjoy peace of mind knowing RUPA continues to ensure our members welfare is looked after.
The policy mix of professional Rugby players continued in 2018 on the basis of three policies (see table below). The continuation of the policy mix continues what RUPA believes is an Australian first, with all professional players contribute to fund an insurance scheme for their benefit in lieu of Workers Compensation, which professional sportspeople are legislatively excluded from coverage. The RUPA membership continued to commit to the deduction of 2% of their total annual base salary to fund the policies income protection component. With the current policy mix in place, players can focus on playing the
RUPA would like to thank our brokers PSC Australian Reliance and our underwriters SLE Worldwide for their continued assistance in the creation and placement of the income protection policy for career ending injuries. RUPA would also like to acknowledge RA for their ongoing financial investment, as required by the CBA, in protecting the game’s greatest asset.
POLICY MIX AND BENEFIT LEVELS POLICY/INJURY
Community Sports Injury Policy
Professional Player Death & TPD Policy
Professional Player Career Ending Policy
Total Maximum Possible Benefit
SLE via Glow Gates
AIA via JLT
SLE via PSC
Training & Playing Only
All players registered to play Rugby in Australia
Professional Players plus Supplementary Squad
Professional Players only
Up to $600K*
Up to $600K*
Up to $300/week
Up to $600K*
CURRENT POLICY PERIOD
1 March 18 - 1 March 19
1 Feb 18 - 31 Jan 19
1 Feb 18 - 31 Jan 19
// 2018 COMMERCIAL REPORT PETE FAIRBAIRN
2018 COMMERCIAL REPORT In 2018, RUPA welcomed our first ever Recruitment Partner in Michael Page (PageGroup) and a new Education Partner in Open Universities Australia (OUA), as we continued to look for ways in which our commercial partnerships can both underpin our day to day operations but also, importantly, add value to our current and past players. PageGroup and OUA joined existing partners Volvo, NAB Private, BDO, Allianz Stadium (SCG Trust), PSC Australian Reliance, FCB and Taylors Wines as part of a diverse suite who we are proud to be associated with. Furthermore, RUPA officially partnered with the Classic Wallabies in 2018, providing both RUPA Playersâ€™ Alumni and Communications assistance on tours of the Darling Downs, Fiji and Hong Kong.
// 2018 RUPA PLAYERSâ€™ ALUMNI REPORT PATRICK PHIBBS
RUPA PLAYERS’ ALUMNI FUNCTIONS In 2018, the RUPA Players’ Alumni program continued to evolve and expand, prioritising support and engagement within our Alumni network, and RUPA was able to host annual Alumni matchday events at home fixtures for each of the four Australian Super Rugby teams – our first formal events in Melbourne and Canberra since the formal reinvigoration of the Alumni in 2017. Each of these functions saw returning players from past events attend, as well as first-time past players that have not attended in previous years. This is a positive sign that players are continuing to engage with RUPA, and that the Alumni network is working as they make the most of opportunities to catch up on what’s happening with RUPA and to see former teammates and opponents. The Sydney event saw RUPA co-host with the Classic Wallabies and The Rugby Club. The co-hosting was a great way for networking between all groups as there was crossover in memberships and it avoided duplication of events and helped with greater attendance; this has become a blueprint to use whenever possible for future events. The Brisbane event was RUPA’s biggest turnout, with RUPA once again co-hosting with the Classic Wallabies and Vintage Reds. There was well over 60 past players present and the group was lucky to have Wallabies Head Coach Michael Cheika attend and do a Q&A on the impending Ireland Test Series. The two remaining events at Melbourne and Canberra saw positive numbers of past players in attendance, and RUPA was fortunate to have the Melbourne Rebels
and Brumbies provide exclusive suites at the matches for the events to take place – we thank them sincerely for that. At each of these events we also had some current players attend, which was well-received and added to the dynamic within the room. It has become very clear that these events are extremely valuable in allowing RUPA to connect face to face with its Alumni, and to continue to develop this space. MENTAL HEALTH EDUCATION The Players’ Alumni functions allowed RUPA to introduce the concept of formal Mental Health Educations sessions and invite those present to partake. Conducted at RUPA’s expense, these sessions were designed specifically for Past Players and facilitated in Brisbane, Canberra and Sydney by Brumbies Player Development Manager Robin Duff, a qualified First Aid Mental Health Presenter. The sessions were curated in a way that created a safe space for players to feel able to speak freely to those in attendance and were designed to allow past players to identify signs and symptoms as well as how to communicate to people who might be struggling with mental health. Feedback from the education sessions has been positive, and we will certainly to make sure we can continue this as a service for our Alumni. I would like to formally thank the ACT Brumbies and Alumni member Sam Scott-Young for access to the facilities that allowed the sessions to take place, and also to Robin Duff for facilitation.
// PLAYER DEVELOPMENT PATRICK PHIBBS
NATIONAL PDP COMMITTEE The Player Development Program continued under the oversight of the joint industry National PDP Committee in 2018. A series of meetings took place throughout the year to discuss the Player Wellbeing and Satisfaction Report, and the Clements Report. In 2018 the Player Development Program Committee and RUPA Board agreed to engage Matti Clements, in her roles as Deputy Director (Athlete Wellbeing & Engagement) at the Australian Institute of Sport and the Independent Chair of the Committee, to undertake a formal and thorough review of the program in its’ entirety and provide recommendations for the Player Development Program. The review prioritised: 1. Structure and Employment of Player Development Managers;
2. National Framework of Services and Support;
Braham Dabscheck – Education Sector Expert Representative
3. Access and Engagement in Program;
Tom Kingston – Player Representative
4. Promotion of the Program; and,
Ross Xenos – RUPA, Chief Executive
5. Opportunities for the Program.
Rosemary Towner - RUPA, General Manager - Player Development
The Committee was presented a Report featuring findings and recommendations which RUPA, in collaboration with the Committee’s endorsement, are continuing to working together to implement.
Gerard McEvilly – Rugby Australia, Head of Integrity
Chair - Matti Clements, Deputy Director (Athlete Wellbeing & Engagement) AIS
Gerard McEvilly joined the PDP committee in 2018, replacing the outgoing Stephen Schmidhofer. The Committee would like to thank Stephen for his contribution and time served and wish him the best of luck with his future endeavours.
Ben Whitaker – Rugby Australia, General Manager High Performance
HUMAN RESOURCES & STAFFING
Tim Rapp – NSW Waratahs, General Manager - Rugby
The Committee consisted of:
In late 2018, RUPA farewelled NSW Waratahs PDM Lachlan McBain and Gina Rees, Australian Rugby Sevens PDM, as
they both moved on to new professional opportunities. We thank them both for their commitment to their teams and the Program more broadly and wish them well. The recruitment process to replace them will begin in early 2019. Melbourne Rebels PDM Kim Gray did an outstanding job assisting an especially high number of players and their families move to Melbourne and a new Club following the axing of the Western Force. Brumbies PDM Robin Duff led, in collaboration with Patrick Phibbs, formal mental health first aid training for the RUPA Players’ Alumni in three cities, while Gina Rees worked around the clock to assist players and their families with logistics and wellbeing preparation around both the Commonwealth Games and Rugby Sevens World Cup, both for those selected and those who weren’t. With the largest number of Pasifika players of all Australian professional programs, Queensland Reds PDM Matt Smith invested a great deal of time in cultural diversity education, as well as working tirelessly with players’ future education plans, as the Reds welcomed a new Head Coach in Brad Thorn. NSW Waratahs PDM Lachlan McBain had to quickly become familiar with the NSW Waratahs new home in Daceyville, after relocated from the Moore Park precinct, and played a lead role in helping players adjusting their work routines, environments and living situations accordingly. RUPA continued to work closely with the Classic Wallabies and James Holbeck, sharing valuable contacts and opportunities around Player Development to specifically assist past players.
AUSTRALIAN ATHLETES’ ALLIANCE
sporting landscape, and more.
AAA CONCUSSION WORKING GROUP - In 2018, the AAA Concussion Working Group agreed to establish the Australian Concussion Research Consortium. The group committed to providing the data from SCAT testing of the past two years, and this year onwards, to the AAA. This is the main area of existing consistency and would enable the research to get underway.
AAA PDM MEETING - There were four meetings of the AAA PDM Committee in 2018, with two hosted in RUPA’s Sydney offices and the other two in Melbourne at the home of the AFLPA and PFA respectively. Representatives from RUPA, AFLPA, PFA, ACA, ABA and ANPA continue to share and discussed topics of resources around Mental Health and wellbeing, critical incident support, education providers, industry qualifications and standards and overall developments in the Player Development space. RUPA also played a pivotal role in the organisation and implementation of the World Players Association Global Player Development Conference. The establishment of a AAA Transition and Development event was agreed in 2018; this event is aimed at assisting athletes as they transition out of their professional sports and into the next stage of their life. The first official event is due to take place in 2019. The AAA have also begun planning and filming of a documentary exploring the myriad off-field considerations and challenges facing athletes, The Price, with production due to commence in 2019 and RUPA to facilitate interview with past and current Rugby players. AAA CONFERENCE 2018 – In June 2018, Rosemary Towner, Toby Duncan, Patrick Phibbs and Pete Fairbairn attended the AAA Leadership Conference in Melbourne, with Toby Duncan presenting to the 30-strong forum on RUPA’s 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations. The Conference covered a broad range of topics, including Player Development, Digital Strategy, Player Services, AAA’s role within the Australian
AIS ATHLETE WELLBEING SUMMIT - Rosemary Towner, Kim Gray and Gina Rees attended the two-day AIS Athlete Wellbeing summit in Canberra, which provided an opportunity to meet and share experiences with other professional sports, as well as Olympic and nonOlympic sports. Key areas of discussion focused around the development and maintaining of trust with athletes, integration of the PDM role into the High Performance Environment, availability of resources and benchmarking against other sports. INTERNATIONAL RUGBY PLAYERS (IRP) - As a follow-up to the November 2017 meeting, the leaders of the Player Development Programs in England, Ireland, New Zealand, Pacific Islands and Australia gathered in Sydney in June 2018, with RUPA hosting these meetings. The purpose of this was to further progress the development of Pillars and Curriculum, and. to form an international guide and standard for Player Development in Rugby. These standards are also aimed at providing information and direction for newly formed Player Associations or Player Development programs. The meeting coincided with the annual RUPA Accredited Agents Conference at the SCG, and the PDMs were invited to sit
on a panel facilitated by Pete Fairbairn to discuss Player Development around the world, and to explain to the accredited agents some of the marked differences between programs in different countries and how IRP works to ‘hand over’ a player’s off-field information when they move to a different country.
reimbursed to 121 players in 2018 through the training and education grant program
CAREER & EDUCATION ELITE ATHLETE FRIENDLY UNIVERSITY NETWORK (EAFU) As a member of the EAFU, RUPA can lodge applications, on behalf of eligible players (CPS and EPS) enrolled at University, for them to receive additional support as agreed between the University and the AIS. As a member of the Elite Athlete Friendly University (EAFU) network, RUPA has submitted a list of 81 (46%) players to the AIS who are enrolled in Universities across 20 different institutions, with one in five of them coming from a Pasifika or Indigenous background. The most popular area of study pursued by players is a Business degree, followed by Commerce and Physical Health, among 16 different courses. 31 players are in their first year of a course, while two players are committing to full time study whilst playing professionally. Most players are undertaking one subject per semester which can mean first year can take a long time to complete and shows the dedication and commitment required to get through a full degree.
players enrolled in University and supported via the Elite Athlete Friendly University Scheme
of players actively pursued study, vocational courses or work experience in 2018
2018 T & E GRANTS APPLICATIONS BREAKDOWN NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 121 // AVERAGE GRANT PER PLAYER - $3248.45 TOTAL T & E GRANT PROVIDED FUNDS - $393062.95 TEAM
% OF PLAYERS
% OF FUNDS TOTAL
HIGHLIGHT OF COURSE UNDERTAKEN IN 2018 TEAM
Canberra Institute of Technology
Cert IV Youth Work
Criminology and Criminal Justice
Bachelor of Business
University of Canberra
Bachelor of Applied Business (Management)
USQ and Language Trainers Australia
Bachelor of Education
Bachelor of Commerce
Bachelor of Sport & Exercise
Bachelor of Business (Property)
Grad Cert in Business Leadership
Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Real Estate & Property
Western Sydney University
Bachelor of Business
University of Western Australia
Masters of Applied Finance
The University of Sydney
Bachelor of Commerce
University of New England
Bachelor of Business
Bachelor of Business
Bachelor Sport and Outdoor Education
Bachelor of Human Sciences
Grad Cert in Commerce
Bachelor of Construction Management
Cert III Fitness
University of Technology Sydney
Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Management
Think Tank Social
Personal Branding Course
UNSW Global Pty Ltd
Australian Vocational Training Academy
Cert IV Youth Work
Bachelor of Business
Macquarie Graduate School of Management
Masters of Business Administration
Emotional Intelligence Program
UNE and ACU (withdrew subjects)
Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science
University of New South Wales
Queensland University of Technology
Bachelor Arts & Business
Australian Ccollege of Professionals
Stock and Station License
Charles Sturt University
Bachelor of Business (Management)
ASC Distance Education
Advanced Certificate in Farming
Bachelor of Commerce
Masters of International Business
Bachelor of Arts Human Resource Major
Masters of Public Health
Media Goals Pty Ltd
Schofields Flying Club
Commercial Pilots License
University of Newcastle
Bachelor of Construction Management
Marine Safety Works
Marine First Aid
Bachelor of Commerce with Bachelor in Law
University of Queensland
Bachelor of Civil Engineering and Computer Science (Dual)
University of Queensland
Bachelor of Commerce
Bachelor of Commerce
Queensland University of Technology
Bachelor of Education
University of Queensland
Bachelor of Science
Diploma of Building Design
Queensland University of Technology
Bachelor of Business
Diploma Early Childhood Education Care
Cert III in Fitness
Bachelor of Media
Business Data Analysis, Introduction to Marketing
Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science
Australian Vocational Training Academy
Cert IV Youth Work
Certificate III Fitness
Australian Catholic University
RELATIONSHIPS AUSTRALIA RUPA continued its valuable association with Relationships Australia. Relationships Australia provides RUPA with access to counsellors for RUPA members and their immediate families.
With the removal of the Western Force from the Super Rugby Tournament in 2018, and the increased engagement with RUPA’s Player Alumni, we saw continuous access to RUPA-funded Relationships Australia services. A network of specialist psychologists also continues to be developed across the nation to provide clinical support where required.
OUR WATCH In 2018, RUPA continued its support with Rugby Australia to undertake continues education with Our Watch. PDMs and Team Managers attended Our Watch’s Change the Story Through Sport training in Canberra, while PDMs also attended the Our Watch Bystander Training. The Brumbies players undertook a presentation by Our Watch with the plan to make it an annual presentation.
MOLEMAP 2018 saw the continuation of the skin check program which was delivered by RUPA to members via Molemap. In 2018, all squad members from the Australian Rugby Sevens, Melbourne Rebels, Queensland Reds and Brumbies programs were screened by specialist nurses with referrals as required. LEVEL 3 COACHING COURSE The next generation of coaches undertaking their Level 3 Coaching accreditation received a presentation from RUPA on Mental Health and Wellbeing in Rugby. The decision to education these coaches aims to normalise the discussion around mental health and provide them with the tools to ensure their future players have every opportunity to perform at their best. It is also designed to acknowledge the stressful environment a coach can find him or herself in and provide signs and symptoms they should be aware of.
Dr. Jioji Ravulo flying to Melbourne to conduct Pasikifa cultural awareness training to the playing squad and then a separate session for staff and the Board; Brumbies PDM Robin Duff assisted with the development of a meaningful indigenous design by a local indigenous artist for the players’ game rehearsal and warm-up shirt. She arranged for three indigenous Brumbies players to contribute to the artwork and helped four Indigenous players to brief the whole squad on the meaning behind the artwork. All four indigenous players attended the launch of the Brumbies RAP where they modelled the shirt and lent their support to reconciliation themes.
BACKS Non-Pasifika 35 Fijian 10 Tongan 4 Samoan 10 Maori 7 Indigenous
Papua New Guinean
Robin also arranged a meeting at the Tongan High Commission, involving The Tongan High Commissioner, Princess Angelika, other high-ranking Commission staff, the Brumbies CEO, the Brumbies’ three Tongan players and player, Lachlan McCaffrey. This meeting obtained support for Lachlan’s activities and forthcoming visit to Tonga to deliver clinics as part of his charity Youth in Union, however the meeting had the added benefit of strengthening the Brumbies’ and players’ links with the Tongan culture and people.
Moving forward, the key input of senior Pasifika players remains vital in the recognition and celebration of 46% of cultural backgrounds of the professional playing group. It is pleasing to note the increase of Indigenous players to 3.5% of the group.
PERSONAL TOOLKIT COURSES & WORKSHOPS INCLUDED BRUMBIES
OVERALL 90/ 53.57%
CULTURAL AWARENESS Non-Pasifika
Business/Small Business career workshop
Mental Health Awareness
Molemap skin checks
Partners Information evening
Papua New Guinean
2/ 1.19% MELBOURNE REBELS
MADE UP OF: FORWARDS Non-Pasifik 55
Great Minds Mental Health Awareness
In 2018, all programs continued to celebrate and learn about their cultural diversity. Some particular highlights included:
Health Insurance education
Life skills presentation
Money Management (BDO Presentation)
Maori 7 Indigenous 2 Papua New Guinean
Pasifika Cultural Awareness presentation
AUSTRALIAN MEN’S & WOMEN’S RUGBY SEVENS
Volunteering Children’s Hospitals Visit
Emotional Intelligence education
Money Management (presented by BDO)
NSW WARATAHS •
Personal Branding course
Player Partners events
Stress Management and Wellbeing
Skin Checks by Molemap
Wellness training with Waves of Wellness
QUEENSLAND REDS •
Partners Information evening
Skin Checks by Molemap
INTEGRITY & OBLIGATIONS In 2018, RUPA PDMs worked with the Rugby bodies to provide support to players completing their compulsory
integrity online modules, however they were not required to drive or enforce the completion of the units. Rugby Australia remains the custodian of the Integrity education area, and works with the professional Rugby bodies to ensure the players within their program are compliant and aware of their obligations.
// RUPA STAFF
PRATAAL RAJ CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
ROBIN DUFF PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER - BRUMBIES
GENERAL MANAGER, PLAYER SERVICES & OPERATIONS
GENERAL MANAGER, PLAYER DEVELOPMENT
COMMUNICATIONS & COMMERCIAL MANAGER
PLAYER RELATIONS MANAGER
PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER - REBELS
PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER - SEVENS
PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER - WARATAHS
PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER - REDS
// SPONSORS & PARTNERS
FOR THE PLAYERS AND THE GAME. THE RUGBY UNION PLAYERSâ€™ ASSOCIATION INC. LEVEL 1 / 10 MALLET STREET CAMPERDOWN, SYDNEY NSW 2050 AUSTRALIA T 02 9519 8211 F 02 9565 4953