Our Team

Filter by:

Christian Day

GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE TRADE UNION

Tel: 020 3053 6670

Read More

Christian Day

GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE TRADE UNION

Tel: 020 3053 6670

Christian was elected the General Secretary of the Trade Union of the RPA in January 2023.
Day will be responsible to the RPA Players Board and RPA Management Board through the RPA Chair and Chair of the Management Board. With 27.25% of the vote, he brings with him a wealth of experience having served as a member of the RPA Players’ Board since 2011, including three years as RPA Chairman from 2014 to 2017 to his now current role as the RPA’s Head of Player Affairs.

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.
Richard Bryan

PLAYER WELFARE DIRECTOR

Tel: 07921 065 947

Read More

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.
Luke Cheyne

HEAD OF PLAYER DEVELOPMENT AND WELLBEING

Tel: 079077 83144

Read More

Luke Cheyne

HEAD OF PLAYER DEVELOPMENT AND WELLBEING

Tel: 079077 83144

Luke became Head of Player Development and Wellbeing (formerly head of Gain Line) at the RPA in May 2022, having joined in 2018 and has worked as a Development Manager and Senior Development Manager with players across a number of elite environments, including; Leicester Tigers, Northampton Saints, Harlequins, England 7s, Worcester Warriors and Wasps Rugby.

Prior to joining the RPA, Luke developed extensive experience across coach education, business development and education, holding senior roles at Coerver Coaching England & Wales whilst also having previously worked with Everton Football Club and Warwickshire College.

A former Sports Scholar at Liverpool John Moores University, Luke is also the current captain of England Deaf Rugby.
Natalie Beckett

HEAD OF OPERATIONS AND PLAYER SERVICES

Tel: 07834 162 256

Read More

Natalie Beckett

HEAD OF OPERATIONS AND PLAYER SERVICES

Tel: 07834 162 256

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.
David Knight

INTERIM FINANCIAL DIRECTOR

David Knight

INTERIM FINANCIAL DIRECTOR

Mark Lambert

HEAD OF RUGBY POLICY

Having retired from a 17-year rugby career at Harlequins in the summer of 2020, Mark joined the RPA as Head of Rugby Policy. Mark represented England at age-group level, and Saxons. He won one Premiership title back in 2012, the LV= Cup in 2013 and one European title in 2011. Lambert went onto make over 250 appearances for Harlequins. Mark served as Chair of the RPA Players Board between 2017-2020.
Lauren Rowan

FINANCE AND HR MANAGER

Tel: 020 3053 6676

Read More

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.
Lynsey Hyslop

SENIOR PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (England Women)

Tel: 07725 142 064

Read More

Lynsey Hyslop

SENIOR PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (England Women)

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.
Kim Johnson

SENIOR PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Tel: 07889 601 708

Read More

Kim Johnson

SENIOR PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

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.
Hamish Pratt

SENIOR PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (Sale Sharks & Newcastle Falcons)

Tel: 07826 848 499

Read More

Hamish Pratt

SENIOR PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (Sale Sharks & Newcastle Falcons)

Tel: 07826 848 499

Originally from New Zealand, Pratt previously worked at the RFU, as a Rugby Development Officer and the Area Manager working across the North of England. He also worked for Huddersfield RUFC across a number of roles, including General Manager and Commercial Manager. He has played once for Otago RUFC in 1999.

Pratt was also the Project Manager for the Families Fund for the RFU, which worked across a number of interventions to support new innovative ways of engaging young people and their families.
Donovan O'Grady

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (Saracens & Harlequins)

Tel: 07889 601709

Read More

Donovan O'Grady

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (Saracens & Harlequins)

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.
Matt Garvey

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (Bath Rugby & Bristol Bears)

Tel: 07912 293822

Read More

Matt Garvey

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (Bath Rugby & Bristol Bears)

Tel: 07912 293822

Garvey was appointed to the role of Development Manager, at Bath Rugby and Bristol Bears as part of the Gain Line programme, in July 2022.

Garvey, 34, retired at the end of the 2021/22 season, ending a 13-year playing career that took him from London Irish, to Bath Rugby, then Gloucester and finishing at Worcester Warriors. He also won representative honours with England Saxons and captained Bath between 2017 and 2019 during his seven-year stint at The Rec.
Jamie Bethell

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (Leicester Tigers & Northampton Saints)

Tel: 07889 601 696

Read More

Jamie Bethell

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (Leicester Tigers & Northampton Saints)

Tel: 07889 601 696

Jamie holds an MSc in Sport Psychology and, prior to joining the RPA as Development Manager for Leicester Tigers & Northampton Saints, worked in Performance Psychology roles within Premier League football academies; as well as with individual Rugby Union athletes.
Richard Easton

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (GB Sevens)

Tel: 07590 890 812

Read More

Richard Easton

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (GB Sevens)

Tel: 07590 890 812

Richard joined the RPA from Nottingham Trent University where he was the Sports Scholarship Manager in the Performance Sport team. Whilst at NTU Sport he also led the Performance Lifestyle team, Clean Sport and TASS PL provision for the university. Prior to this he looked after the England Talent Pathway for Volleyball England, including the Commonwealth Games and Youth Olympic Games qualification programmes.

He currently sits on the TASS Lifestyle Advisory Group and has worked with UK Anti-Doping to help review the Higher Education accreditation/membership programme.’
Emily Lord

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (Gloucester & Exeter Chiefs)

Read More

Emily Lord

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (Gloucester & Exeter Chiefs)

Emily joined the Gain Line team in April 2023. Before this Emily held several positions within the Further Education sector finishing with working within the RFU U18 ACE competition structure. As a former TASS athlete herself Emily has a good understanding of elite sport. Representing England Netball up to U21 age group eventually finishing her career with multiple injuries gives Emily a clear understanding of what high performing athletes can go though. Coupled with her vast understanding of the education sector allows her to instil clear advice and guidance to all players under her care.
James Bailey

WELLBEING & TRANSITION MANAGER

Tel: 07879 445728

Read More

James Bailey

WELLBEING & TRANSITION MANAGER

Tel: 07879 445728

Formally a player with; Saracens, Bristol, Gloucester, London Irish, Lyon, Wasps and England 7s, James has also held international coaching roles in recent years with England 7s and the Jamaican Rugby Union. James has also acted as a Diversity & Inclusion Advisor with the RPA since 2021
Jo Plinston

PARTNERSHIPS AND EVENTS MANAGER (Maternity Cover)

Jo Plinston

PARTNERSHIPS AND EVENTS MANAGER (Maternity Cover)

Elissa Middleton

PARTNERSHIPS AND EVENTS MANAGER

Tel: 020 3053 6683

Read More

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.

Stephen Thomas

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Stephen joined the RPA back in August 2021 from DAZN, where he was 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.
Gus Fraser

HEAD OF FUNDRAISING - RESTART

Tel: 07715 036 545

Gus Fraser

HEAD OF FUNDRAISING - RESTART

Tel: 07715 036 545

Eden Sixton

FUNDRAISING EXECUTIVE - RESTART

Eden Sixton

FUNDRAISING EXECUTIVE - RESTART

Edens joined Restart in October 2023, with a strong events background gained at both an events management company and the hotel industry.
Judith Batchelar OBE

Chair, RPA Management Board

Read More

Judith Batchelar OBE

Chair, RPA Management Board

Judith is a Biochemist, nutritionist, has an Honorary Doctorate in Agriculture from Harper Adams University, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST), the Royal Society of Arts and Manufactures (RSA) and a liveryman at The Worshipful Company of Butchers.

Judith started her career in pharmaceuticals and teaching before finding her true vocation in food and farming. She worked in the food and drink industry for over 35 years starting in manufacturing at Bass and Mars, before moving into retail at Marks and Spencer. From 2004 to 2021 she worked for Sainsbury’s as Director of Sainsbury’s Brand driving the Product Quality and Innovation agendas, with responsibility for all aspects of Sainsbury’s customer offer, along with Corporate Responsibility, Sustainability, and Public Affairs.

Today Judith is Deputy Chair of The Environment Agency, and now sits on the Natural Environment Research Council and the European Advisory Council of The Nature Conservancy, she is also Chair of both The Rugby Players Association and North Highland Products. Judith is a Non-Executive Director of Monaghan Mushrooms and Daemon, and is a Trustee of The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Accounting for Sustainability and The Matt Hampson Foundation. Judith is an ambassador for the Woodland Trust and Farm Africa.

From 2013 to 2018 she was Chair of the Governments’ AgriTech Council. She was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to Farming and the Food Industry, and is a Commissioner on the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission.
Mark Rider

Non-Executive Director of the RPA

Read More

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.
Hannah Bruce

Non-Executive Director of the RPA

Read More

Hannah Bruce

Non-Executive Director of the RPA

A graduate of Durham and Cardiff University with a First Class Honours degree in Politics and French and a Masters in European Politics, Hannah began her career in the UK Civil Service in 2008 where she undertook several operational roles in the Department of Work and Pensions and the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Hannah then transitioned into the political environment becoming Senior Political Adviser to the Leader of the Welsh Conservatives. A further stint in Whitehall followed, working on the Coalition Government’s deregulation agenda, before Hannah joined the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), where she combines her passion for sport and politics, advising the ECB on its relationship with the UK Government across a wide range of domestic and international policy areas.
Hannah was appointed by the Welsh Government to the Board of Sport Wales in 2019. She was elected to the Board of Trustees for the National Association for Axial Spondyloarthritis Society in 202 following her own diagnosis of the inflammatory arthritis condition in 2018.
Nick Rappolt

Non-Executive Director of the RPA

Read More

Nick Rappolt

Non-Executive Director of the RPA

A technology and marketing-services executive for over twenty years, graduating in Economics and Philosophy. Founder of Credo Communications, a strategic communications agency, which was acquired by a division of Next Fifteen PLC, Bite Communications. Founder of Beyond, a digital and technology design company funded with equity from Next Fifteen PLC. CEO of Beyond from 2013, expanding it in North America and Europe by partnering with clients such as Apple, Bridgewater, Google, Just Eat, Sainsburys and Virgin.

Currently founder of superStudios, a buy and build acquisition company focused on digital transformation in Europe and North America. Board member for Toaster and YourStudio, founding trustee of Vital Hardware.
Helen Verwoert

Non-Executive Director of the RPA

Read More

Helen Verwoert

Non-Executive Director of the RPA

Helen Verwoert has 20 years experience driving transformational change with people and culture being at the centre.

Helen was the Chief People Officer at Dr. Martens for nearly a decade, where she was responsible for the people agenda which helped it transform from a small family owned business to an iconic global brand which listed on the LSE in 2021. Since leaving Dr. Martens she has worked for Praetura Ventures as an Operating Partner. Supporting CEO's and Founders across the portfolio with mentorship on leadership, culture and growth.

As the Daughter of a proud Welshman Helen's love of Rugby started early! On the weekends Helen can be found either watching her Daughter play for Bath Ladies or her Son at school and club rugby. She has seen first hand how the game has helped both of them grow, develop and form lifelong friendships.
Ethan Waller

NORTHAMPTON, RPA CHAIR

Ethan Waller

NORTHAMPTON, RPA CHAIR

Position: Prop
Elected: 2018/19
Harry Elrington

GLOUCESTER RUGBY - VICE CHAIR

Harry Elrington

GLOUCESTER RUGBY - VICE CHAIR

Position: Prop
Elected 2020/21
Sarah Bern

ENGLAND WOMEN

Sarah Bern

ENGLAND WOMEN

Position: Prop
Elected: 2023/24
Brett Connon

NEWCASTLE FALCONS

Brett Connon

NEWCASTLE FALCONS

Position: Fly Half
Elected: 2023/24

Alex Davis

GB 7s

Will Evans

HARLEQUINS

Will Evans

HARLEQUINS

Position: Flanker
Elected: 2023/24
Max Lahiff

BRISTOL BEARS

Max Lahiff

BRISTOL BEARS

Position: Prop
Elected: 2022/23

Ruaridh McConnochie

BATH RUGBY

Position: Winger
Elected: 2023/24
Simon McIntrye

SALE SHARKS

Simon McIntrye

SALE SHARKS

Position: Prop
Elected: 2023/24
Stuart Townsend

EXETER CHIEFS

Stuart Townsend

EXETER CHIEFS

Position: Scrum Half
Elected: 2023/24
Ivan Van Zyl

SARACENS

Ivan Van Zyl

SARACENS

Position: Scrum Half
Elected: 2023/24
Harry Wells

LEICESTER TIGERS

Harry Wells

LEICESTER TIGERS

Position: Second Row
Elected: 2020/21

Amy Wilson-Hardy

GB 7s

Position: Wing
Elected: 2023/24