The NZRPA Rugby Club held its first event for the year on Friday night in Dunedin when a great mix of past players who were involved early in the professional era and more recent players from the Highlanders got together.

The event hosted by Mark Ranby (Highlanders Personal Development Manager), Hale T Pole (Pacific Rugby Players) and Fiona Brading (NZRPA) was held prior to the match between the Highlanders and Hurricanes at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Mark Ranby shared some early playing photos of the past players in attendance which provided great amusement for the guests.

The former players enjoyed sharing valuable learnings with each other from their transition experience and telling stories about what they were up to now.

It was a great opportunity to introduce Fiona Brading, NZRPA Personal Development Manager for overseas, retired and transitioning players. Fiona is dedicated to supporting players in this space and brings to the role her experience as a career change specialist.

Te Anau Four Square owner Callum Bruce who has been away from the game for three years said “It was the first time I had a chance to catch up with everyone and see what everyone was up to. We chatted about how they found the change out of the game and what advice they would give to other players. 

“It was a really good opportunity to reconnect with everyone.   It was a nice and informal occasion for the past players to get together and I look forward to going to more events.”

The players enjoyed the camaraderie of the night and are looking ahead to the next event and have already started the planning of a follow up event before the year is out.

Please contact Fiona Brading on fiona.brading@nzrpa.co.nz if you are interested in finding out more about the Rugby Club and other future events happening around the nation this year.

It was the first time I had a chance to catch up with everyone and see what everyone was up to. We chatted about how they found the change out of the game and what advice they would give to other players. It was a really good opportunity to reconnect with everyone - Callum Bruce