England internationals Danny Care, Alex Dombrandt, Jess Breach and Sarah Beckett, plus England U20 Head Coach Alan Dickens, recently spoke to the latest class of Academy Recruits at the RPA's 2021 Academy Induction. The Induction was again held remotely due to COVID-19 considerations, and the initiative is part of the RPA's Gain Line programme, which is supported by the RFU and Premiership Rugby.
More than 80 young players logged on into the Academy Induction to hear the quartet give a fascinating insight into life as a professional rugby player during one of several sessions designed to give new recruits the best possible start to their careers.
RPA Chairman Ethan Waller also provided a first-hand perspective on how the game is run and the role of the RPA Players' Board.
Additional sessions focused on:
- Mental Wellbeing Webinar with RPA Senior Development Manager Matt Leek, Josh Bayliss, Miles Reid and Ioan Lloyd
- An Introduction to the RPA Gain Line Programme
- Personal Responsibility – Richard Bryan discussed the responsibilities of a Premiership Player
- Social Media – Matt Himsworth of B5 Consultancy shared the best practice on social media use
- Player/Coach Q&A with RPA Head of Player Affairs Christian Day, England U20 Head Coach Alan Dickens and England internationals Danny Care, Alex Dombrandt, Jess Breach and Sarah Beckett
RPA Player Welfare Director Richard Bryan said: “The RPA Academy Induction is an essential part of the Gain Line programme, helping the newest professional rugby players in England to adapt to their chosen career. We know that the transition into professional rugby for these young players can be tough, with numerous challenges awaiting them both on and off the pitch.
“We would like to thank all of our panellists and contributors for sharing their knowledge and expertise. We also are very grateful for the support of the RFU, Premiership Rugby, the Clubs and the Tom Maynard Trust without whom the Induction would not be possible. The academy players received a unique insight into the reality of the life, career, opportunities, and pitfalls of a professional player. At the end of the sessions, these players left with a greater understanding of their new profession and the support available to them from the RPA throughout their careers.”
To find out more about Gain Line or how you can get involved, please contact Ben McGregor on 07753 299546 or firstname.lastname@example.org