RPA - 22nd April 2021 - RPA launches Welfare Advisory Board

RPA - 22nd April 2021 - RPA launches Welfare Advisory Board

22nd April 2021

The Rugby Players Association (RPA) today announce the launch of its Welfare Advisory Board. The Board met for the first time in March, having been endorsed at the February RPA Players’ Board with the aim of providing guidance, advice and proposals to the RPA on player welfare matters. Specifically this includes Brain Health, Mental Wellbeing, Injury Mitigation, Women’s Rugby Wellbeing, Past Player Wellbeing, Player Load and Playing Surfaces. It will consider the needs of player education, research, protection and support in these areas, as well as the welfare initiatives to be promoted by the RPA.

The first meeting of the Board focused on Brain Health, Past Player Wellbeing and Playing Surfaces as well as hearing updates on RPA work in other areas. The Board supported the RPA proposal for introducing limits on contact in training and the continuation of the prohibition on new artificial turf pitches being laid in the Premiership.

The permanent members of the Board consist of RPA staff, current and former players and player welfare experts. The Board has flexibility to co-opt further independent expertise as required.

The Board

Jake Cooper-Woolley (Sale Sharks & RPA Vice Chair)
Lydia Thompson (England & Worcester Warriors Women)
Dr Zoe Saynor (Former Harlequins and England player, current lead for the Physical Activity, Health and Rehabilitation Research Group at University of Portsmouth)
Ben Ryan (Former Bedford Blues and West Hartlepool player, Former England 7s coach and Coach of 2016 Olympic Gold winning Fiji 7s team)
Dr Fiona Wilson (Associate Professor of Physiotherapy at Trinity College Dublin)
Phil Pask (Head of Northampton Saints Medical and S&C departments from finishing playing in 1994 until 2002. Physiotherapist to the England Rugby team 2002-2018 and now in a consultancy role. British and Irish Lions Senior Physiotherapist for the tours of 2005, 2009, 2013 and 2017)
Richard Bamford (Former England, Harlequins and Saracens Physiotherapist)
Kearnan Myall (former Wasps, Sale and Leeds Carnegie player, current PhD psychiatry student at Oxford University)
Dr Tim Anstiss (RPA Medical Adviser)

RPA Staff

Rich Bryan (RPA Player Welfare Director and Welfare Advisory Board Chair)
Christian Day (RPA Head of Player Affairs)
Mark Lambert (RPA Head of Rugby Policy)
Emma Kearnan-Staines (RPA Executive Assistant)

If you would be interested in learning more about the Welfare Advisory Board please contact:

Penny Maltby-Payne - RPA Head of Communications