Luke Cheyne Interview with Daily Mail

The Rugby Players Association has warned Owen Farrell’s decision to step away from England duty is far from a one-off example of the sport’s stars struggling to deal with the demands placed on them. 

Farrell, the national side’s captain, revealed last week he will not play in next year’s Six Nations and is taking a break from Tests to prioritise his and his family’s mental health. 

His revelation shocked the English game. But the RPA has said it has now become used to dealing with players who are struggling, especially on the back of a tumultuous year. 

It insists the RPA will be at the heart of ongoing discussions between the RFU and Premiership Rugby on the future of how the game will be structured. 

‘This is not a one-off and it’s certainly not uncommon,’ said Luke Cheyne, the RPA’s head of player development and wellbeing.'

‘It becomes more high profile when we are talking about the England captain. 

'A lot of the RPA’s work– particularly when it comes to players’ mental health and wellbeing – happens in a confidential space. But it does happen and that’s what we’re here for.'