Last Friday, as the Wallabies were waking up in Brisbane and beginning to conclude their preparations for the following day’s Test match against South Africa, thirteen past and current players joined over 100 guests for a networking breakfast just down the road at Waterfront Place, co-hosted by RUPA and PageGroup.
Since officially partnering earlier this year, RUPA and PageGroup have placed a premium on trying to assist players with their transition into life outside of Rugby, and much of the formalities of the networking breakfast centred around that theme.
Five players, split across two separate panels, took part in the discussions; firstly, Wallaroos Captain Liz Patu alongside Tim Horan, before Pat Howard, Morgan Turinui and Warwick Waugh took the stage to discuss all things Rugby and transition, preview the Test match and take questions from the floor.
Turinui, who is heavily involved with fellow RUPA partner Classic Wallabies, said it was great to catch up with so many other players, and to network among a room of high-end individuals.
“It’s always a pleasure to see your former teammates and meet other players who you didn’t know previously, whether it’s at a Classic Wallabies function or a RUPA event, and it was great to be able to take part in this event through sitting on the panel,” Turinui said.
“PageGroup’s client base is so impressive and varies across many industries, and from that perspective I really enjoyed meeting new people and talking about ways in which we might be able to do business together. You never know what’s going to come from a conversation with somebody, so it was fantastic for all of the players present to be able to grab some business cards and network effectively.
“I’m a big advocate for educating people outside of the game about some of the challenges associated with transition for players as well, and in general I think it’s something we can all get better at highlighting and speaking about, and it was great that the people in the room wanted to hear about that, alongside chatting footy.
“This was my first chance to meet the team from PageGroup, and I can certainly see how the partnership will benefit all players who want to take advantage of it; I’d definitely encourage anybody thinking about their next career move to organise a meeting with one of their specialists, via RUPA.”
Matthew Gribble, PageGroup Regional Managing Director (Australia & New Zealand) echoed Turinui's sentiments.
“As our recent hiring of former Super Rugby player Francis Fainifo will attest to, we at PageGroup are huge believers in the potential of such players to transition into the corporate world with great success," he said.
"We look forward to helping many more do the same, while supporting those lpayers entering the game to ensure they are continuously developing their resume and transferrable skills throughout their career, to help support them for that eventual transition.”
Other players in attendance were Scott Barton, Mitch Chapman, Sean Hardman, James Holbeck, Samu Kerevi, Guy Shepherdson, Lote Tuqiri and Lachie Turner; RUPA would like to thank you all for giving up your time to join us at the first of many events of this nature.
The RUPA-PageGroup partnership provides Australia’s past and present professional players with access to industry-leading expertise and training programs, designed to highlight, strengthen and leverage the transferrable skills players develop whilst playing professional Rugby for their next careers.
Each of Australia’s professional programs (Super Rugby and Rugby Sevens) can access PageGroup training sessions through the Player Development Program, which include, but are not limited to, personal branding, communication styles, leadership, identifying transferrable skills, CV, writing and interview preparation and identifying career opportunities.
PageGroup specialists will also address all of Australia’s rookie players at the annual RUPA Induction Camp this December, while any Past Player who would like the opportunity to sit down with a PageGroup specialist for career advice can contact Patrick Phibbs to organise it.