Northampton Saints winger Tom Collins has today been named the winner of the first RPA Gain Line Award of the 2019/20 season. The award was created to celebrate the proactivity and off-field achievements of RPA members.
The electric winger has had a bright start to the new season topping the Premiership Rugby stats for clean breaks with an impressive 13. Now in his eighth year at the East Midlands club, the 25-year-old has showcased his passion and desire to perform to the best of his ability both on and off the pitch.
Tom is interested in working within the Construction Management industry once he retires from rugby. In November, he completed an Advanced Diploma in Construction Management with ‘Excellent’ grades in 12 of the 13 Units, completing the course in just 4 months with a high level of motivation and dedication.
In addition to his education, Tom is also currently completing on-going, weekly work experience with Colonial Construction, which followed on from a full-time work experience placement during the summer. Tom has aspirations to gain a degree within construction management and is working closely with his RPA Development Manager to research which course and institution is best suited to him.
Upon winning the award, Tom said: “The thing that motivates me is you look at these stories about players who have been at the top level and just struggled with retirement. I don’t want to be a player who struggles, I want to be a player who can make a smooth transition into it, enjoy life after rugby. I love playing rugby now but I also want to enjoy that next step, I don’t want it to a be a step down for me and I feel like If I can make that as smooth as possible that’s the way forward really. I can enjoy it, I can live my life and enjoy that next step."
Luke Cheyne, RPA Development Manager for Northampton Saints, said: “He engages in every aspect of the Gain Line programme and actively seeks out opportunities for personal and professional growth off the pitch. A very independent, motivated and highly driven individual who recognises the importance of putting the plans in place for his retirement, and whilst he hopes that may not be for another decade or so, he understands that professional sport is unforgiving and can change at the drop of a hat."
This is the first of three Gain Line Awards to be made in the 2019/20 season, with further winners to be announced in February and April. The award highlights a player’s off-field personal development success and is judged by a panel consisting of RPA Player Welfare Director, Richard Bryan, RPA Non-Executive Director, Joe Ryan, and RPA Alumni Representatives, Chris Bentley and Rob Vickerman.
The RPA Gain Line Programme (jointly funded by the RPA, RFU and Premiership Rugby) is a central pillar of the RPA and provides its members with essential off-field education, personal development, career transition opportunities and welfare support.