RUPA Staff

  • Ross Xenos


    Ross Xenos, has been the Rugby Union Players’ Association (RUPA) CEO since March 2015. Prior to that, Ross served as RUPA’s Deputy CEO, having joined the organisation as Player Services Manager in March 2011.

    Before joining RUPA, Ross was the Marketing & Membership Manager at Sydney University Sport & Fitness (SUSF) for three years, where he was responsible for managing the brand, marketing, communications, events and commercial revenue generation of the organisation.

    Ross is also currently a Board Director of the International Rugby Players’ Association (IRPA), the international representative body of all professional rugby players and their associations, and is also on the Board of the Australian Athletes’ Alliance (AAA).

  • Rosemary Towner

    General Manager, Player Development

    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).

    Hailing from Manly, there are many core components of Rosemary's role. These include the co-ordination of the PDP Committee, distribution of T&E grants, the delivery of information and services under the six pillars of the PDP (Career & Education, Wellbeing, Cultural Diversity, Financial Management, Personal Toolkit Development, Integrity and Obligations), liaison with ARU Integrity Unit & other key stakeholders at the ARU, management of Player Development Managers at each Super Rugby team and the Australian Rugby Sevens program, representative of Professional Sports on the EAFU, liaison with National Managers in IRPA countries to provide a co-operative and co-ordinated information and resource sharing opportunity and as a Member of the PHSI Committee.

    Rosemary's 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.

    Away from the office, Rosemary's passions include coffee and art, and her most admired Rugby player is Michael Lynagh.

  • Toby Duncan

    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!).

  • Patrick Phibbs

    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

    Communications Manager

    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.

  • Robin Duff

    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.

  • Lachlan McBain

    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.

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    Gina Rees

    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.

  • Matthew Smith

    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. rupa web  edm sponsors 2017.jpg?ixlib=rails 1.1