Former Wasps, London Irish and Samoa second row, Dan Leo, has linked up with The Rugby Players’ Association to lead a new initiative that will provide special assistance to Pacific Island and overseas players, offering support and practical advice as they transition to a life and career in the UK.
The RPA Cultural Diversity Programme aims to tackle the issues facing these players through a series of tailored workshops and individual sessions.
Delivered in partnership with Pacific Rugby Players Welfare (PRPW), a not-for-profit organisation established by Dan, the programme will help players navigate cultural differences while offering support with everything from conflict resolution and language barriers to contract legalities and immigration advice. Assisting Dan will be former Samoa and Gloucester flanker, Junior Paramore.
Dan Leo, said: “The launch of the RPA Cultural Diversity Programme is extremely exciting as it recognises the fantastic contribution overseas players have made to English rugby since the game went professional. The programme itself seeks to enhance cultural skills and literacy among England rugby’s increasingly multi-cultural playing group, ensuring better communication and understanding of each other’s backgrounds, circumstances and values. The programme reinforces the RPA’s commitment to providing an inclusive service, and one which reflects the needs of professional players from all walks of life.”
RPA Founder and Group CEO, Damian Hopley, said: “Dan has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the UK and France, as well as representing Samoa at international level. He’s a fantastic role model in the game and I can’t think of anybody better placed to deliver such an important programme.”