Welsh Rugby Players Association
|Full name||Welsh Rugby Players Association|
|Key people||Neil Maclean-Smith & Rhys Williams|
The Welsh Players Association (WRPA), founded in 2003, is the representative body for professional rugby union players in Wales. Its General Secretary is Neil Maclean-Smith, who succeeded previous General Secretary, Dean Sheehan and former Chief Executive, Richard Harry. Rhys Williams, former Wales and Cardiff Blues Fullback has been President since 2010. The association is part funded by the Welsh Rugby Union.
Membership of the WRPA is made up of players who play for the four professional regions; Cardiff Blues, Llanelli Scarlets, Ospreys and the Newport Gwent Dragons as well as current Welsh Internationals who play outside of Wales.
The WRPA was established in 2003 in response to changes in the professional game. Its first task was to negotiate with the WRU to establish a proper insurance scheme for all professional players in Wales and also to set up a commercial arm for the Wales national team, Team Wales. In 2011, the WRPA introduced the Player Development Programme to assist players with life off the rugby field. The PDP covers areas including, Personal & Professional Development, Welfare and Lifestyle and Planning for the future.
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.
These 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.
- "Welsh Rugby Players Association is relaunched". BBC. 2010-04-27. Retrieved 10/06/2010. Check date values in:
- "About the WRPA". WRPA. Retrieved 10/06/10. Check date values in:
- "What the WRPA do". WRPA. Retrieved 10/06/2010. Check date values in:
- "Bowe scoops Welsh honour". Scrum.com. 2010-05-19. Retrieved 2010-10-10.