James Bailey Appointed Wellbeing & Transition Manager

The Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) is delighted to announce the appointment of James Bailey to the role of Wellbeing & Transition Manager as part of the Gain Line programme.

Bailey, 39, has spent over two decades in professional rugby, playing in the Premiership, France’s Top 14 and as an England Sevens international, before becoming the first professional black head coach of an England rugby team. In this capacity, James led the England Women’s Sevens team to a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games, through a Rugby Sevens World Cup and qualification for the Tokyo Olympics.

The Gain Line programme is a personalised support service, backed by Premiership Rugby, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the RPA, to provide a high quality, independent and consistent standard of player care across all Gallagher Premiership clubs, the Red Roses and England 7s programmes which recognises that rugby is likely to be the main focus in a player's life whilst they are playing, but that playing rugby represents a relatively short part of a player’s working life.

Gain Line supports players throughout their playing career and key transitions in their lives, provides wellbeing support, facilitates learning and personal development, helps players manage risk and maximise their potential as players, as well as preparing them for life after rugby.

On joining the RPA, Bailey said: “I have a long-term relationship with the RPA from numerous positions, firstly as a player, then a coach of England 7s, to most recently working with them in a Diversity & Inclusion capacity, so I fully appreciate the importance of the RPA within professional rugby and I am delighted to join in this newly created role.

As Wellbeing and Transition Manager, I look forward to holistically supporting members, and working to ensure all our members can thrive during and post playing careers.”

Luke Cheyne, Head of Gain Line, said of Bailey’s appointment: “We are delighted to welcome James on board for this newly created, yet hugely important role of Wellbeing & Transition Manager for the RPA. James’ role will see him add further value to our Gain Line Programme and build upon the work of our team of RPA Development Managers.

James’ credibility within the sport speaks for itself, not only as a former player and coach, but as an individual who cares about the person behind the player, a quality which is essential to supporting our members, during their playing careers and beyond.

Whilst enhancing the support of our current members, those within our Retired Players Network will also benefit hugely from the personalised support James and the Gain Line Programme is able to offer.”