Case Study:

Exeter Chiefs – Rugby Players Association

Workshop: Rock it Don’t Brick it!

About Them

The Rugby Players Association is the representative body and collective voice of professional rugby players in England. The RPA works with over 800 professional rugby players including the full Exeter Chiefs squad. They support, promote and protect the interests of their members, from the moment they sign their first professional contracts, throughout their playing careers, and beyond as they embark on the next phase of their lives. We were asked to support with their professional development.

What We Did

The remit was to design a session to help players when they are speaking in public, networking and in more formal situations. We agreed that the workshops were not long enough to deliver the content in great depth, but they would still be a valuable resource for players both now and in the future.

The first session was designed to remind participants about tone and pace as well as body language and the messages they send without even realising it. For the second session, they were divided into teams and expected to speak on a subject that they had been given previously which was completely non-sports related.

Many of the players have asked for further training on the area which is very encouraging as excellent communication skills are essential for them moving forward into life after rugby.

The Results

  • 98% of participants rated the course content as good or excellent.
  • 79% said they felt happier speaking in front of an audience as a result of the workshop.

What They Said


“Enjoyable. And kept everyone involved which was very good.”

“Friendly, relaxed and well thought out.”

“Good fun and very engaging.”

“Very interesting, good tips going forward.”

“Great confidence builder, look forward to progressing into other audiences.”

“Loved it. “

“Fun, good experience and good to put myself in a situation I didn’t want to be in, very useful.”

“Really fun and enjoyable workshop. Some great lessons and skills I can use in the future! Julia was very clear and had a great sense of humour.”

“Very Useful tips and techniques that I will use going forward. The workshop was well thought out and prepared.”

“Very useful and engaging, gets people out of their comfort zone, interesting info about how it isn’t always about content, body language etc.”

“Informative and useful in terms of building confidence and speaking in a public environment.”

“Very good, communication is a very important part of life and something that can go a long way.”

“Very informative and useful to lads who may not be as confident speaking, thank you.”

“Previously before the workshop I thought of public speaking as intimidating and fairly boring, but Julia made it enjoyable and I wouldn’t mind doing it again.”

“I really liked it and wasn’t very keen talking in front of people but I’m glad I did it and was able to prove to myself I could do it. I feel it will really help my coaching.”

“I really enjoyed it, it helps with my fear of talking in front of a crowd.”

“Thought it was very useful and kept us engaged at all times.”

“Good fun, informative, challenging.”

“Beneficial and clear. Gave confidence to speak to a group with small adjustments and tips.”

“Good chance to practise public speaking/networking in a relaxed environment.”

“Good, fun, easy way of getting people to talk.”


“They were brilliant. Professional in all aspects from pre-course meetings to delivery on all aspects of a bespoke communication course for the Exeter Chiefs squad.

The workshops on communication and presenting skills were engaging, challenging and allowed all participants to get involved. The tutors brought the room to life with their energy and ambition to improve everyone’s ability in this key area of personal development.”

Rugby Players Association Development Manager

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