Ireland women’s captain Ciara Griffin and Sevens star Louise Galvin have welcomed their appointments to the board of Rugby Players Ireland following the representative body’s expansion of its executive committee to reflect its growing remit in the Irish professional rugby.
RPI also announced that Institute of Directors (IoD) in Ireland chief executive Maura Quinn is to join its Executive Board as an Independent Board Member with immediate effect while in addition to appointing representatives for the Irish women’s XV and Irish women’s 7s, the men’s sevens programme will also have a voice at executive committee level through Ireland player Greg O’Shea.
The four new appointees join chairman Rob Kearney, Darren Cave, Eoin McKeon, Peter O’Mahony and Johnny Sexton on the Executive Committee as well as existing Independent Board member Peter McKenna.
RPI, established in 2001, extended its remit last year to include the Women’s XV international programme and both the Men’s and Women’s 7’s teams.
Former Kerry footballer and Ireland basketball international Galvin welcomed all of the new player appointments.
“It’s fantastic that there are now three board members representing Women’s XVs, Women’s 7s and the Men’s 7s on the Rugby Players Ireland board,” Galvin said.
“I think it’s massively important because it shows that our peers as players are recognised, the level of professionalism that we show and train at. Rugby Players Ireland represents and serves its members and we’ve been part of that as members so it’s fantastic now there are representatives for each of those squads.
Now I can speak on behalf of the 7s’ squad, who’ve elected me and likewise we can also work to represent the whole player body. So it’s a fantastic step forward.
Ireland XVs captain and UL Bohemians back row Griffin, who on Tuesday night was named Munster Women’s Player of the Year, said she was looking forward to contributing to RPI’s mission statement of making Ireland “the best place in the world to play rugby”.
“I’m delighted to be a part of this, it’s great to see the Women’s games, XVs and 7s, represented on the board. It reflects the growing remit of the players’ body and it’s great to have that voice, that representation on the board, that support, going forward and it’s something I’m looking forward to being part of..
“I think it’s important we promote the social good that happens through Rugby Players Ireland through the Tackle Your Feelings (mental well-being) initiative, something I’d love to get involved in and develop further, particularly as a primary school teacher. It would be great to show that in schools across the country, the work it does and how it supports players.”
RPI chairman Kearney welcomed the new members to the expanded board, saying: “The appointments reflect the continued growth and development of professional rugby in Ireland. It is also particularly pleasing to have an individual of the calibre of Maura Quinn join the board and provide her expertise to the Executive Board as we focus on the delivery of our strategic objective to ensure that Ireland is the best country in the world to play professional rugby.”