Ross Xenos has been the Rugby Union Players’ Association (RUPA) CEO since March 2015. Having joined RUPA in early 2011, Ross has held a number of roles within the organisation primarily focused on player services, stakeholder relations, commercial partnerships and communications over his 7 years.
Before joining RUPA, Ross was the Marketing & Membership Manager at Sydney University Sport & Fitness (SUSF), a connection he continues as a current director of the SUSF Management Committee. He was also involved as a director and then President of the University’s Soccer Club between 2010 and 2017. His connection to Sydney University also extends into the classroom, having completed a B. Commerce and more recently an MBA.
Ross is currently a Board Director of the International Rugby Players’ Association (IRPA), the international representative body of all professional rugby players. Domestically, he also holds a crucial role as the Chairman of the Australian Athletes’ Alliance (AAA), the national conglomerate of the top eight professional players associations.
General Manager, Player Development
Hailing from Manly, a graduate of Stella Maris College, Rosemary Towner joined RUPA in July 2007, following nearly two decades service with the Australian Olympic Committee (1990-2001) and the NSW Institute of Sport (2001-2007).
Coordination of the National Player Development Program Committee, distribution of Training and Education grants, and the delivery of consistent information and services under the six pillars of the PDP are within the scope of this role. Also included is the ongoing liaison with the Rugby AU Integrity Unit and other key stakeholders at Rugby Australia as well as management of Player Development Managers (PDMs) at the Super Rugby teams and the Australian Rugby Sevens program.
Rosemary co-chaired the 2017 International Rugby Players Association (IRPA) PDM meeting in Dublin. This conference provided an opportunity for National Managers from each IRPA country to discuss co-ordinated information and resource sharing opportunities across Rugby nations.
She is the representative of Professional Sports on the Elite Athlete Friendly University network, on the Australian Athletes Alliance (AAA) Concussion working group and a Member of the RA Player Health, Safety and Integrity Committee.
Rosemary is a Justice of the Peace and her qualifications include a Graduate Diploma in Management (Sport) from the University of Technology, Graduate Certificate in Career Counselling for Elite Performance from Victoria University, Mental Health First Aid qualification and a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment.
General Manager, Player Services & Operations
Toby Duncan commenced employment at RUPA in 2012, and has been General Manager, Player Services & Operations, since March 2015.
Toby completed both a Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Commerce at Sydney University, graduating in 2006, and worked in stockbroking prior to joining RUPA. Whilst there are numerous components to Toby's day to day roles and responsibilties, the key components of his position are; Compliance with Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), Agent Accreditation, Player Insurance, Superaunnuation & Taxation, and RUPA Internal Operations. He is currently studying a Masters in Business Law through the University of New South Wales (UNSW).
Toby was born and raised in Sydney, attending Cranbrook School, and with the exception of a semester on exchange at the University of Texas he has always called Sydney home. Toby played Colts and Grade at Eastern Suburbs Rugby Club, later returning to coach a season in Colts, and his most admired Rugby player is George Smith.
Toby enjoys spending Saturday afternoons at Woollahra Oval, watching most sports and yelling at the TV in the process and eating hamburgers and fried chicken (and then immediately regretting it!).
Player Relations Manager
Patrick Phibbs joined RUPA as Player Relations Manager in 2015 after returning to Australia following the completion of his playing career.
Scrumhalf Phibbs played 69 Super Rugby games for the Brumbies and represented Australia in Rugby Sevens before moving to the UK where he played for Exeter, Leicester & London Irish. His recent professional experience makes Pat a great point of contact for RUPA's membership, while he is a pivotal part of the regular team visits RUPA conduct.
Away from Rugby, Pat has completed both a Diploma of Business and a Bachelor of Education (Physical Education), and he is currently completing his Certificate III & IV in Fitness. He is extremely passionate about Randwick Rugby Club and equally so about spending time at the beach, either with his wife and daughter or searching for a wave around Sydney's eastern beaches. He enjoys home brewing, a passion fuelled by trips to Belgium when he was playing in Europe, and his most admired Rugby players are Jeff Sayle and Kevin Phibbs.
Pete Fairbairn relocated to Sydney and began his role as RUPA's Communications Manager in 2015.
In his role, Pete is responsible for devising and applying RUPA's communications strategy. This includes management of RUPA's social media channels, website content, eDMs, press releases, video production and more.
Pete is also available to all RUPA's members, past and present players, to provide social media and media training, and the primary purpose of his role is to promote the achievements of RUPA's members on and off the field.
Born in Victoria, raised in country Queensland and then having spent significant time living in New Zealand, Pete has worked in sports publicity since completing his tertiary studies in 2008. Prior to joining RUPA, Pete was the Melbourne Rebels' Media Manager, while he has also worked for a corporate bookmaker and as a sports commentator on both ABC Grandstand & 1116 SEN.
His most admired Rugby player is Stirling Mortlock and his favourite Rugby memory is the Wallabies' upset win of the All Blacks in the 2003 Rugby World Cup Semi Final, while away from Rugby he is a passionate AFL (Melbourne Demons) and football (Leeds United) fan.
Player Development Manager (Brumbies)
Robin Duff is the Player Development Manager at the ACT Brumbies, a position she has held since 2014.
Prior to joining RUPA worked for both the ACT Academy of Sport and the Australian Insititute of Sport, and Robin is also a consultant with both the Australian Cricketers' Association & Livewired.
Robin has completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours in Psychology) and a Graduate Certificate in Athlete Career & Education Management, while in recent years she has also completed Certificate IV in both Telephone Counselling Skills and Training & Assessment, as well as a Graduate Diploma in Community Counselling.
Born in Geelong but calling Canberra home, Robin is a member of the ACT Sports Hall of Fame, having represented Australia in both softball & hockey. She has three adult children, and loves reading great biographies and eating chocolate; she would also rescue all homeless old and large dogs if possible!
Her favourite Rugby memory is the Wallabies' 1999 Rugby World Cup triumph, and her most admired Rugby player is Pat McCabe for the way he has handled his career-ending circumstances.
Player Development Manager (Waratahs)
Lachlan McBain is the Player Development Manager for the NSW Waratahs, a position he has held since February 2010.
Lachlan joined RUPA with a wide-ranging career background in Rugby. He spent two years working for Victorian Rugby Union in the Development team and a further five years at NSW Rugby in the capacity of Junior Rugby Administrator. He brings a unique coupling of passion for Rugby and broad experience in training and development.
Lachlan has completed a Bachelor of Social Sciences majoring in Human Resource Management from RMIT University as well as a Diploma in Business and the Cert IV in Training & Assessment. He is also an ARU SmartRugby Accredited Presenter, an Australian Rugby Union Level Two Coach and an Australian Rugby Union Level One Referee.
Growing up, Tim Horan was Lachlan's most admired Rugby player, while he can't split the 2003 Rugby World Cup or attending the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens when it comes to picking his favourite Rugby memory! Away from RUPA, Lachlan and wife Jennifer have two kids Mackenzie and Hamish, and he is a keen cyclist who completes the 210km or 250km Around The Bay In A Day cycle every year.
Player Development Manager (Rugby Sevens)
Gina Rees began her role as the Australian Men's and Women's Rugby Sevens Player Development Manager in May, 2016.
Gina completed her BA Hons in Coach Education and Sports Development from the University of Bath in 2006 and the Bristol native also played hockey in the UK National League for St. Austell HC and Bath Buccaneers before moving down under. In 2015, Gina completed her Cert IV Trainer & Assessor and Career Development.
Prior to joining RUPA, Gina was Hockey NSW's Game Development & High Performance Manager for four years. After initially juggling this role in a part-time capacity alongside her previous role as a Personal Excellence Adviser at the NSW Institute of Sport, the demands of the position and the positive impact she's had on each squad saw her move into a full-time capacity in early 2017.
Her most admired Rugby player is Jonny Wilkinson (we'll work on that!) her favourite Wallaby is Matt Giteau, and she loves both watching and competing in most sports.
Player Development Manager (Reds)
Matthew Smith is the Player Development Manager at the Queensland Reds, a position he has held since 2012.
Prior to joining RUPA, Matthew's previous role was as an Athlete Career and Education Consultant with the NSW Institute of Sport. He has completed a Bachelor of Education (PDHPE) at The Australian College of Physical Education and a Graduate Certificate in Career Counseling for Elite Athletes through Victoria University.
Hailing from Tamworth, Matthew was part of the Australian Men’s Hockey team between 1994-2002, claiming two Commonwealth Games medals and an Olympic Bronze medal among his 166 matches for the national side. In August 2013 he was inducted into the Tamworth Hall of Fame in recognition of his performances and broader service to the game.
Matthew is married to Katie and has two children, Abigail and Patrick, while his favourite Rugby memories are the performances of both John Eales and Jonah Lomu at the 1999 Rugby World Cup.