For the Players
For the game

RPA announce Player Development Manager appointments

September 3rd, 2014

The Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) today announced the appointments of Budge Pountney and John Millington as the latest Player Development Managers.

Budge, who will work with Bath Rugby and London Irish members, enjoyed a long and illustrious playing career with Northampton Saints where he also served as Director of Rugby for two years. Budge won 31 caps for Scotland, six as captain, but was unfortunately forced to retire from the game through injury.

Following his retirement Budge spent six years running his own business before joining the RPA from his most recent role as Head of Rugby and Elite Performance at Totton College.

Budge said of his appointment: “Since its inception I have been a playing member and an Alumni member of the RPA, I have watched it grow into the model it is now. I am genuinely excited and proud to now be a part of the process of delivering the Player Development Programme to professional and academy players.”

John, who will be responsible for Sale Sharks and Worcester Warriors, joins the RPA with a strong business background, most recently as Business Development Manager for NCC group in Manchester, a leading global information assurance organisation. John enjoyed his early rugby career in Hong Kong and Australia, before a move into recruitment within the technology sales industry.

Of his appointment John said: “I’m delighted to take up the role of PDM with the RPA and I am very excited to be involved in the support and development of players from both Sale Sharks and Worcester Warriors. Drawing on my experience of leading rugby programs in Australia and Asia I have long recognised the importance of the work that the RPA delivers in support of professional rugby players, and the opportunity to be a part of that is fantastic.”

RPA Group CEO, Damian Hopley, said: “The Player Development Programme has grown in stature and influence year on year since launching in 2005. Both John and Budge bring an excellent array of business, rugby and interpersonal skills that will complement the excellent work already being done around the clubs by our colleagues. The invaluable funding provided to the programme by Premiership Rugby and the RFU goes directly into helping RPA members develop themselves as people and players and we look forward to continued progress and support over the coming season.”