Player welfare is our reason for being. The Association was founded in 1998 by former Wasps and England centre, Damian Hopley, who was determined not to let another player face premature retirement without support, a situation he had experienced when injury halted his career at the age of 26.

The RPA has worked closely with all stakeholders to ensure player welfare is firmly at the forefront of the game. The RPA participates in medical research to improve player safety, with RPA Medical Advisor Dr Tim Anstiss working alongside the RFU and Premiership Rugby to produce Annual Injury Audits as well as conducting research into specific areas of the game such as concussion.

The RPA provides members with independent advice on all areas including insurance policies (playing, career ending, personal accident and illness).

All Premiership registered senior RPA Members are covered on and off the pitch, at home and abroad, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year through the JPPI scheme (Joint Professional Players Insurance Scheme).

Players are also encouraged to purchase top up insurance during their careers.
Please see Player Services section for more information.

A players’ off-field well-being is as important as their on-field safety. The RPA’s focus is on providing the support and services a player needs to perform to the best of their ability at their job while also developing away from the game, preparing themselves for life after rugby. Read more about our Player Development Programme here.

The RPA provides a free confidential counseling service through LPP consulting which supports players through a variety of issues including, but not limited to: Depression, stress and anxiety, injury and burnout, bereavement, addiction, career transition.
Click here for more information