Our Team

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A graduate of St Andrews and Cambridge University, Damian played for Wasps and England, and was part of England’s World Cup-winning 7s team in 1993. He went on to play in the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa and captained the England 7’s team in 1996 before being forced to retire from professional rugby in 1998 due to a career-ending knee injury. The lack of support available to professional players at that time motivated Damian to found the RPA later that same year. Building the business from nothing, he has worked tirelessly with the talented RPA team to deliver enhanced player welfare, support, representation and development for the 1,200 current and former professional rugby players in England. The RPA is now established as a key stakeholder in supporting both female and male professional rugby players in England.
Stuart Munday

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Tel: 020 3053 6674

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Stuart Munday

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Tel: 020 3053 6674

Stuart joined the RPA in 2005 and has over 20 years’ experience in various finance and management roles from within trade union and membership based organisations, which included the position of Finance Officer at British Actors Equity Association. A member of the RPA Management Board, Stuart is responsible for the management of the daily business operations of the RPA Group and all performance management aspects of its respective departments.
Richard Bryan

PLAYER WELFARE DIRECTOR

Tel: 07921 065 947

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Richard Bryan

PLAYER WELFARE DIRECTOR

Tel: 07921 065 947

Richard is a qualified lawyer and former player, having played for Bath, Newport and Leeds. During his time at Newport, Richard served as a Player Representative on the Board of the Welsh Rugby Players’ Association. During his time at Clarke Willmott solicitors Richard advised the RPA on legal issues.
Gaia Bursell

HEAD OF COMMERCIAL + TEAM ENGLAND

Tel: 020 3053 6679

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Gaia Bursell

HEAD OF COMMERCIAL + TEAM ENGLAND

Tel: 020 3053 6679

Gaia will work exclusively on all Team England Rugby and England Rugby Hospitality matters. Gaia previously held the RPA role of Team England Account Manager between 2004 and 2008 before moving on to work as a Senior Agent at ITM Sports, Commercial Director at Activate Management and more recently as Senior Brand Partnership Manager at Jamie Oliver.
Luke Cheyne

HEAD OF GAIN LINE

Tel: 079077 83144

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Luke Cheyne

HEAD OF GAIN LINE

Tel: 079077 83144

A former Sports Scholar at Liverpool John Moores University, Luke is also the current England Deaf Rugby Captain.
Prior to joining the RPA, Luke developed extensive experience across coach education, business development and education, holding a senior role at Coerver Coaching England & Wales whilst also having previously worked with Everton FC and Warwickshire College.
Penny Maltby-Payne

HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS

Tel: 020 3053 6670

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Penny Maltby-Payne

HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS

Tel: 020 3053 6670

Penny joined the RPA from Great British Racing where she worked as Senior PR Manager, having previously worked at Sports Agency Pitch Marketing Group leading on BT Sport’s rugby and WTA account as well as Account Management for Tag Heuer and Harlequins.

As Head of Communications, Penny is responsible for developing and activating the business-wide communications strategy of the RPA, managing the communications team, and overseeing marketing, PR, digital and brand activity across the RPA Group.
Natalie Beckett

HEAD OF MEMBERSHIP SERVICES

Tel: 020 3053 6685

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Natalie Beckett

HEAD OF MEMBERSHIP SERVICES

Tel: 020 3053 6685

Natalie joined the RPA from England Hockey where she worked as a Relationship Manager, having previously worked for England Netball, Kroll and Deloitte.

In her role as Head of Membership Services, Natalie is responsible for managing the daily delivery of all Player Services available to RPA members.
Christian Day

HEAD OF PLAYER AFFAIRS

Tel: 020 3053 6670

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Christian Day

HEAD OF PLAYER AFFAIRS

Tel: 020 3053 6670

Christian retired from professional rugby at the conclusion of the 2017/18 season to embark on a new full-time position as The RPA’s Player Liaison Officer.

Christian represented Sale Sharks, Stade Français Paris and Northampton Saints over a career spanning 17 seasons. Over his career he made 220 Premiership appearances placing him 13th on the all-time appearances list, lifting the Premiership Trophy in 2005-6’ with The Sale Sharks and 2013-14’ with The Northampton Saints.

Christian brings a wealth of experience to the role having served as a member of the RPA Players’ Board since 2011, including three years as RPA Chairman from 2014 to 2017.

Mark Lambert

HEAD OF RUGBY POLICY

Lauren Rowan

FINANCE AND HR MANAGER

Tel: 020 3053 6676

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Lauren Rowan

FINANCE AND HR MANAGER

Tel: 020 3053 6676

Lauren joined the RPA in September 2016 to assist the Finance and HR Director. Lauren has previously held a similar position at a successful recruitment and training company for the past six years. Her duties at the RPA include Sales & Purchase ledger, credit control, and payments for both RPA Management & Restart Rugby.
Emma Kernan-Staines

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Tel: 020 3053 6677

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Emma Kernan-Staines

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Tel: 020 3053 6677

Emma joined the RPA in January 2018 as Executive Assistant. Emma previously worked at Sport England, where she was the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive and Chairman since 2015. Prior to this, she worked at the Football Association for 12 years, with her main role being Executive PA to Sir Trevor Brooking from 2004 to 2014. Emma is also the co-founder of the Sport PA Network.
Lynsey Hyslop

SENIOR DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (Leicester Tigers & Northampton Saints)

Tel: 07725 142 064

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Lynsey Hyslop

SENIOR DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (Leicester Tigers & Northampton Saints)

Tel: 07725 142 064

Before joining the RPA in 2012 Lynsey worked with a Crime Reduction Charity as an Education Coordinator, designing curriculum and managing alternative education provisions. Her Psychology and Criminology degree was put to good use when she worked in a male prison for four years assisting prisoners with their preparation for release. With a masters degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology, Lynsey is currently studying for a PhD in Business and Economics at Loughborough University. She also leads the RPA’s education pillar of the PDP.
Kim Johnson

SENIOR DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (Transition)

Tel: 07889 601 708

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Kim Johnson

SENIOR DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (Transition)

Tel: 07889 601 708

Kim joined the team in 2013. Coming from a sporting background in International tennis Kim is also a graduate in Sport and Exercise Science from Loughborough University. Before joining the RPA Kim gained experience across the sporting landscape with Octagon, IMG and most recently in Athlete Investment at UK Sport.
Craig Townsend

SENIOR DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (Exeter Chiefs & Gloucester Rugby)

Tel: 07912 293 820

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Craig Townsend

SENIOR DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (Exeter Chiefs & Gloucester Rugby)

Tel: 07912 293 820

Craig joins the RPA as our new Development Manager for Gloucester Rugby and Exeter Chiefs.

Craig has extensive experience in performance sport, business development and education. A former player, England 7’s Team Manager and University of Exeter High Performance Sport Manager, Craig will hit the ground running and further enhance the credibility of our already talented team.
Hamish Pratt

DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (Sale Sharks & Newcastle Falcons)

Tel: 07826 848 499

Hamish Pratt

DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (Sale Sharks & Newcastle Falcons)

Tel: 07826 848 499

Donovan O'Grady

DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (London Irish & England Women - maternity cover)

Tel: 07889 601709

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Donovan O'Grady

DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (London Irish & England Women - maternity cover)

Tel: 07889 601709

Donovan plays for the Switzerland Rugby Union Team in the Rugby European Trophy 2021/2022. He had made 12 previous appearances for the Swiss National 15’s team.

In his early career, he was in the Sharks Rugby Academy where he played for College Rovers for a year before he went to Tuks in Pretoria and played for the Varsity Cups 7’s team. At the age of 20 he was selected to captain the Limpopo Blue Bulls U21 Currie Cup team. In his final year of studying he represented the Naka Bulls who won the Lucas Strachan Trophy in 2016.

After graduation, Donovan moved to the UK and played for Bury St Edmunds in England before landing a professional contract in Germany where he played for the Heidelberger Rugby Club which won the 2018-19 European Rugby Challenge Cup.

O’Grady was then selected to represent Switzerland and his first cap was against Moldova in 2018. Besides representing Switzerland 13 times, he also captained the 7’s team in two European tournaments.
Elissa Middleton

PARTNERSHIPS AND EVENTS MANAGER

Tel: 020 3053 6683

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Elissa Middleton

PARTNERSHIPS AND EVENTS MANAGER

Tel: 020 3053 6683

Elissa joined the RPA as Partnerships Manager in April 2013 and is responsible for the account management of various blue chip organisations including Aviva, BMW, KPMG, Sunday Times, and Champagne Bollinger. Having previously worked with Maurissa F1 she brings with her a wealth of experience in account management, public relations, event management, and marketing communications.
James Wilson

COMMERCIAL EXECUTIVE

Tel: 020 3053 6670

James Wilson

COMMERCIAL EXECUTIVE

Tel: 020 3053 6670

Stephen Thomas

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Tel: 07826 852 285

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Stephen Thomas

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Tel: 07826 852 285

Stephen joins from DAZN, where he has been working as their Social Media Assistant Producer since 2017. Prior to this, Stephen spent three years at Sale Sharks as their Social Media & Website Executive.
Ellie Edwards

RESTART FUNDRAISING MANAGER

Tel: 07715 036 545

Ellie Edwards

RESTART FUNDRAISING MANAGER

Tel: 07715 036 545

Ellie most recently worked for The Harlequins Foundation with previous roles including Foundation Coordinator and, more recently, Events Coordinator.
Judith Batchelar

Non-Executive Director of the RPA

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Judith Batchelar

Non-Executive Director of the RPA

Judith has worked in the food and drink industry for more than 35 years and is a Biochemist and Nutritionist. She has been Director of Sainsbury’s Brand since 2004 and is responsible for all aspects of the company’s product offering, policy, corporate responsibility, sustainability and public affairs. In addition to her work at Sainsbury’s, Judith is a Non Executive Director of The Environment Agency, sits on the Executive Board of the Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project, and the Board of Trustees for Farm Africa, the Matt Hampson Foundation, and is also an ambassador for the Woodland Trust.

When Judith leaves Sainsbury’s in November, in addition to her position at the RPA, she will also continue to spend time as a Non-Executive Director at the Environment Agency, and pursue her work as a Trustee of The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, The Princes Accounting for Sustainability Project, and The Matt Hampson Foundation.
Mark Campion

Non-Executive Director of the RPA

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Mark Campion

Non-Executive Director of the RPA

Mark joined Campion Willcocks & Associates Ltd in 1988 eventually taking over as Managing Director and assuming overall responsibility for the business in 1994. Today he works at senior executive and board level, managing relationships and helping clients to identify, understand and address the change management issues they face. Mark was appointed a Non-Executive Director of the RPA in 2003.
Mark Rider

Non-Executive Director of the RPA

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Mark Rider

Non-Executive Director of the RPA

Mark is Chief Financial Officer at Shepherd Neame, Britain’s oldest brewer and pub operator across the South East of England where he is responsible for all finance, IT and people matters as well as leading their sustainability programme. Prior to this Mark held a number of senior finance roles at J Sainsbury plc . He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accounts having trained at PricewaterhouseCoopers and is an advisory board member for the Zero Carbon forum for the hospitality industry.
Ethan Waller

WORCESTER, RPA CHAIR

Ethan Waller

WORCESTER, RPA CHAIR

Position: Prop
Elected: 2018/19
Vickii Cornborough

ENGLAND WOMEN, VICE CHAIR

Vickii Cornborough

ENGLAND WOMEN, VICE CHAIR

Position: Prop
Years on Board: 2
Tom Ellis

BATH RUGBY

Tom Ellis

BATH RUGBY

Position: Back Row
Years on Board: Elected 2020/21
Dave Attwood

BRISTOL BEARS

Dave Attwood

BRISTOL BEARS

Position: Second Row
Elected: 2020/21
Harvey Skinner

EXETER CHIEFS

Harvey Skinner

EXETER CHIEFS

Position: Fly-Half
Elected: 2021/22
Harry Elrington

GLOUCESTER RUGBY

Harry Elrington

GLOUCESTER RUGBY

Position: Prop
Elected 2020/21
Aaron Morris

HARLEQUINS

Aaron Morris

HARLEQUINS

Position: Wing
Elected: 2020/21
Harry Wells

LEICESTER TIGERS

Harry Wells

LEICESTER TIGERS

Position: Second Row
Elected: 2020/21
James Stokes

LONDON IRISH

James Stokes

LONDON IRISH

Position: Wing/Full-Back
Elected: 2021/22
Sean Robinson

NEWCASTLE FALCONS

Sean Robinson

NEWCASTLE FALCONS

Position: Second-Row
Elected: 2021/22
Reece Marshall

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS

Reece Marshall

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS

POSITION: Hooker:
Elected: 2021/22

Richard Barrington

SARACENS

SARACENS:

Position: Prop
Elected: 2019/20
Simon Hammersley

SALE SHARKS

Simon Hammersley

SALE SHARKS

Position: Full Back
Elected: 2021/22

Ben Morris

WASPS

Position: Back-Row
Elected On The Board: 2021/22