Ethan Waller wins third Vodafone Business Gain Line Award for 2023/24 Season

The Rugby Players Association (RPA) is delighted to announce Ethan Waller of Northampton Saints as the worthy recipient of this season’s third RPA Vodafone Business Gain Line Award.

The RPA Vodafone Business Gain Line Award was created to support current and former players of the game in their off the field business ventures.

Waller has taken a keen interest in his personal development throughout his career, having qualified as a Personal Trainer and Financial Advisor in his time away from the pitch. As well as being chair of the RPA Players Board, he has also gone on to open and run several businesses. Recently, he has launched a new venture: “The Butchers Yard”, which is a live outdoor cooking classroom, which brings people together who love food and the outdoors.

On winning the award, Waller said: “I’m absolutely over the moon to receive the Gain Line Award. I’ve spent most of my career actively pursuing things outside of rugby and to be recognised for that is brilliant. I think it’s so important for players to get out of the rugby bubble and experience as much as they can whilst they’re playing because when inspiration strikes, like it did with the Butchers Yard, you can grasp those opportunities and make the most of them. A big thank you to my business partner Phil Roberts, the RPA and Vodafone Business for this award.”

Waller’s RPA Player Development Manager, Jamie Bethell, said: “Ethan has really embodied the essence of the programme throughout his career. He has gained qualifications, sought out challenges, and taken calculated risks with multiple business ventures. ‘The Butchers Yard’ is a venture that will hopefully provide Ethan with not only a source of income, but also a community post-retirement. It's great to be able to recognise a player who has been so relentless with his off-field development.”

Jo Wedlock, Brand Marketing and Communications Director, at Vodafone Business said: “Congratulations to Ethan Waller on becoming the latest recipient of the RPA Vodafone Business Gain Line Award. It’s amazing to hear about his outstanding dedication and versatility - from his achievements as a Personal Trainer and Financial Advisor to his leadership role at the RPA Players Board - his versatility shines through. Now, with the launch of 'The Butchers Yard,' Ethan pioneers a space uniting food enthusiasts and outdoor lovers and we look forward to supporting him on his journey.”

For more information about the Gain Line programme, please visit the RPA website:


Ste Thomas – Communications Manager, RPA

About The RPA

The Rugby Players Association is the representative body and collective voice of professional rugby players in England. We represent more than 600 male and female current rugby players, as well as more than 100 former players.

It is our mission to support, promote and protect the interests of our members, from the moment they sign their first professional contracts, throughout their playing careers, and beyond as they embark on the next phase of their lives.

Our members enjoy a wide range of benefits, including: independent representation; legal advice; personal and professional development; playing insurance; education; confidential counselling; transition support; and much more. Members can also access the support of our official charity, Restart, in the event of serious illness, injury or hardship.

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed-line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were also the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. As of June 2021, we have 5G in 364 locations across Europe – 124 in the UK and 240 across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland. Our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 15 UK towns and cities through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach.

Sustainability is also at the heart of what we do: as of 1 July 2021, 100% of the grid electricity we use in the UK is certified to be from renewable sources.

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