After 24 years with the Rugby Players’ Association, it has been announced that its chief executive Damian Hopley will be stepping down from the role.
Hopley, a former England international, founded the organisation in 1998 and helped the RPA to become a major player in the professional game.
“As the face of the RPA since founding the organisation in 1998, he has led us through a remarkable period of development, establishing and growing the RPA as a leading player representation organisation in global sport,” the RPA said in a statement.
“During this time, the RPA has successfully represented and supported thousands of female and male, current and former players.
“The RPA has delivered some momentous welfare wins for the membership over the years, not least securing millions of pounds of investment into player welfare, insurance and our world-leading personal development programmes.”
Hopley, who was a member of England’s 1995 World Cup squad in South Africa, received further praise from the RPA as the announcement was made.
“We are all indebted to Damian for his outstanding contribution to the sport in England and around the world over the years,” the RPA added.
“The RPA will be conducting a strategic review in order to ensure that as an organisation we move forward fit for the future and prepared for the challenges and opportunities that our players will face, so that we can support and represent them in the most effective way possible.”