Following the recent retirement and subsequent resignation of Damien Fitzpatrick as RUPA President, RUPA would like to announce that following recent player elections,Matt To’omua has been appointed the RUPA President with immediate effect and Ross Haylett-Petty as the Melbourne Rebels RUPA Player Director.
Born in Melbourne and relocating to Brisbane, Matt progressed through his junior rugby with Logan City and Logan Brothers before heading to the ACT Brumbies in 2008 as a product of Brisbane State High School.
Matt’s playing career has seen him represent the ACT Brumbies, Western Province, Leicester Tigers and the Melbourne Rebels. A world class player and leader, Matt earnt selection in the Australian Schoolboys (2007), Australian u/20 (2009/2010) and the Australian Wallabies in 2013, winning 52 Caps to date.
Matt To’omua said…
‘It is a great privilege to be able to serve the playing group in this manner. As someone who has heavily benefited from the work done in the past by former players and RUPA delegates, I am very honoured to have this opportunity to assist our players and the game.
We are fortunate to have some great experience in current and past players, along with industry experts guiding our journey. We will need all this experience as we navigate our way through these challenging times’
RUPA CEO Justin Harrison said of the appointment,
‘Matt has vast experience as a professional player across a variety of environments, his pragmatism and considered views on the importance of player consultation and collaboration are founded on first hand experiences that are invaluable when navigating a professional playing group through what will be a defining moment in the Australian Rugby eco system’
‘As a RUPA Player Director, Matt’s advocacy for the broader playing group with a clear intent on providing the framework for an environment that at all times is founded on the principles of creating the best professional sporting experience for the players and a winning environment is a reflection of his undoubted suitability for this role as President as we continue to navigate through uncertain times’
RUPA Chairman Campbell Fisher said of Matt’s election,
‘Matt has been a passionate and vigorous Director of RUPA and we are delighted in his appointment as President. As well as an enormous amount of playing experience in a number of competition structures, Matt brings a keen intellect that will be essential in navigating a period of major change in Australian rugby. We are lucky to have Matt's leadership contribution at such an important time.’
As a result of Matt To’omua’s election as President, a replacement RUPA Player Director from the Melbourne Rebels was nominated and elected resulting in Ross Haylett-Petty being appointed to the position of Melbourne Rebels RUPA Player Director with immediate effect.
Born in Durban but raised from an early age in Perth, Western Australia, and a product of Cottesloe Rugby Club, Ross represented Western Australia at age group level and the Australian U/20 side in 2014, Ross made his Super Rugby debut in 2016 with the Western Force and has proven to be a consistent forward who is a valuable member of the Melbourne Rebels.
‘It is an honour to be elected and appointed to the RUPA Board to represent my peers at the Melbourne Rebels, I am looking forward to preserving the interests of the players and the game going forward’
Harrison said of Ross…
‘Ross has continually sought to expand his involvement in the environment in which he operates beyond the playing and training fields. His curiosity and appetite to educate himself and those around him on the importance of collective collaboration and pragmatic player input has seen him become a leader amongst his peers and a valuable addition to the RUPA Board.’
Campbell Fisher (RUPA Chairman) said of Ross’s election,
‘Ross is a welcome addition to the Board of RUPA. We' are looking forward to Ross’ contribution on behalf of the playing group, particularly at a difficult time and given he and his team mates have been on the road for many weeks, which enables him to bring first hand experiences of the challenges of competition structures in a COVID environment.’