David King: Leading the Charge in Player Development for the Women’s XV

Thu, Jun 6, 2024, 5:36 AM
by Ananya Bhindi (RUPA Commercial and Communications Manager)

RUPA and Rugby Australia are proud to announce David King as the new National Player Development Manager (PDM) for players within the Wallaroos playing group and across the Super Rugby Women’s Game.

With a mission to support and enhance player development across the Super Rugby Women’s game, David brings a wealth of experience and a passion for empowering athletes both on and off the field. David holds a Bachelor of Applied Science/Secondary Education, as well as a Masters of Performance Psychology and Leadership Development. Prior to joining the RUPA team, David worked in many leadership positions across colleges and schools including Deputy Principal at St Edmund’s College Canberra and Director of Administration at Newington College. Additionally, David has also worked as a Mental Performance Coach at the NSW Waratahs, ACT Brumbies, Athletes Authority, and Wallaroos.

"I am thrilled to join the RUPA team and contribute to the holistic development of our female athletes. I believe that by focusing on their personal and professional growth, we can help them excel not only on the field but in all aspects of their lives..." ­- David King


David’s role will involve the management and implementation of the National RUPA Player Development Program (The Advantage Line) for the Wallaroos Managed Playing Group (WMPG). David will conduct one-on-one needs assessments, crafting individualized development plans to help each player achieve their full potential both on and off the field. His approach ensures that players receive support across RUPA’s Player Development Pillars, supporting their specific needs in areas such as mental skills, media training, time management, career and education, financial literacy, networking, and mental health.

"Our aim is to provide a structured and supportive environment where players can thrive. By addressing their unique needs, we can create a pathway for their success during and after their rugby careers..."

With extensive experience in assessing developmental needs and guiding individuals through transitions, David is well-equipped for this role with his background in working within multidisciplinary high-performance environments and his deep understanding of mental health and career development. David’s appointment marks a significant step forward in supporting the Wallaroos and the broader Super Rugby Women’s game. His leadership and expertise will drive positive outcomes, helping players build lifelong skills and connections that extend beyond the field.

Jimmy Holbeck, General Manager of Player Development at RUPA, expressed his confidence in David's appointment:

"David's extensive background in education, psychology, and high-performance coaching makes him an invaluable asset to our team and a Player driven resource for Player engagement and support. His dedication to player development will greatly benefit our athletes and the future of women's rugby..."

David King’s new role underpins a dedicated effort towards supporting the next generation of female rugby players, equipping them with the tools they need for success both on and off the field. The Wallaroos and the Super Rugby Women’s game is continuing to grow.