Welsh Rugby Players Association
Welsh Rugby Players Association
|James King (Chairman)|
|Barry Cawte (CEO)|
The Welsh Rugby Players Association (WRPA), is a trade union representing athletes who currently play or who have played rugby union in Wales at a professional level. Founded in 2003, the WRPA aims to Represent, Develop, Promote and Protect all members in its association.
The association acts as a negotiator between players and their employer. They are involved with negotiating group contracts in areas such as match and win bonuses and act as a go-between in the event of disputes. This includes bringing industrial action if necessary. Recently, the WRPA has welcomed the Welsh 7's as members of the association.
The WRPA provides its members with a Personal Development Programme (PDP), which allows Personal Development Managers (PDM's) to undertake the personal development of players, whilst they continue to train as full-time professionals. The PDM's role is to support players in an array of areas including: Vulnerabilities, Careers & Education, Life Skills and "Mental Wellbeing".
The Welsh Rugby Players Association also provides it members support through its official charity, Second Half Rugby. The charity provides support to players who are facing hardship and are in times of need. Support is given to members over a range of areas whether it be financial, medical, integral or mental health related.
The WRPA headquarters are in Cardiff, Wales
Barry Cawte became the Chief Executive of the Welsh Rugby Players Association in September 2019, coming across from the UK's largest leisure operator, GLL (Greenwich Leisure Limited). Cawte is also the independent chairman of Tennis Wales. Barry Cawte succeeds former Wales international back-row forward and Cardiff Blues captain, Andries Pretorius, who led the organisation for two years.
The current Head of Business of the WRPA is Philippa Hearnden. Philippa has been with the Welsh Rugby Players Association since June 2015.
James King, Ospreys and Wales backrow replaced Ken Owens as Chairman of the WRPA after a successful 5 years in term. James will Chair the Executive Committee of Jake Ball, Steff Hughes, Dan Lydiate, Lewis Evans, Tyler Morgan, Josh Turnbull and Ellis Jenkins who represent the voices of all players in relation to issues in the game.
The purpose and objectives of the WRPA are:
- Safeguard players rights.
- Provide representation at the highest level of the game.
- Regulation of industrial relations.
- Progression of the game in Wales by working with the Welsh Rugby Union and Regions.
- Promotion and representation the interests of members.
- To maintain conditions of employment for members.
- Dispute resolution.
- Welfare programmes for players who suffer injury.
- Collective bargaining
The WRPA serve its members on both rugby related and personal matters, these include:
- Collective representation on employment issues and representing individual players through any employment disputes.
- Collective representation on Player Insurance issues and representing individual players with their claims.
- Updating members on developments in relevant areas of the law.
- Developing a financial benefits package for all members.
- Monitoring anti-doping programmes.
- Facilitating professional advice such as lawyers and accountants.
- Provision of non-rugby career development.
- Financial education.
- Provision of a members’ affinity programme.