Exeter Chiefs were the latest Aviva Premiership club to benefit from an RPA (Rugby Players’ Association) Business Club Networking evening. The event, held at Ashfords Solicitors in Exeter, was attended by a number of the club’s senior and academy players.
The evenings are part of the RPA Player Development Programme (PDP), which aims to individually assist players in their personal and professional development, helping them to identify a second career and providing them with skills for a smooth transition into life after rugby.
Those players in attendance included: Haydn Thomas, Dean Mumm, Kai Horstmann, Will Chudley, Jack Arnott, Will Carrick-Smith, Kieran Davies, Tom Cowan-Dickie, David Ewers, Mark Foster, Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie.
Australian international Mumm was heavily involved with RUPA (Rugby Union Players’ Association) during his time with the New South Wales Waratahs and knows how valuable the help of Player Associations can be: “I think it’s extremely important, especially from the point of view of educating players on nights like tonight. They help put life as a rugby player in to perspective, you can get caught up in what you’re trying to achieve and you don’t take time to step back and look at what could happen in the future.
“RUPA and the RPA work really hard with us to help give that perspective and say ‘yes rugby is important, but so is your future.’ Anyone who has been in the game for a while and seen the transition will know that some people do it well and others struggle, which can lead to a loss of identity and that’s where the Associations can really help.