The Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) have today announced former players Rob Vickerman and Chris Bentley as RPA Alumni Player Representatives.
It’s the first time in the Association’s history that Alumni members have been represented and will ensure that players both past and present have a voice when shaping the future of the professional game.
Former England 7s, Newcastle Falcons and Yorkshire Carnegie centre, Rob Vickerman, said: “I was privileged to be in the first cohort of academy players to transition through school and straight into a professional environment. Whilst this led to incredible experiences at a very young age, it has meant that many areas of life post playing are a real shock to the system. Through this Alumni role, I hope to be able to provide support and insight as well as being just a small part of a fundamental area of the professional game that connects and supports so many.”
Chris Bentley, who enjoyed a successful career with Exeter Chiefs, said: “This role with the RPA is a great opportunity for me to give back to the game that has been a constant throughout my adult life. I feel extremely lucky to have had a 13-year professional career that, although never quite scaled the top of the tree, did frequently climb high branches. It will be an honour to offer advice, support and direction to all the guys making the transition out of professional rugby into the real world.”
RPA Rugby Director, Richard Bryan, said: “With more than 400 former players registered as Alumni members it’s vital that they have representation and a voice within English rugby. Rob and Chris will add great value to an already strong group of Player Representatives and I’ve no doubt their knowledge and experience will be a great asset to the Association.”