The Rugby Business Network Podcast

This global network was set up in 2010 with a vision of building a community that connects rugby, business and charity. Today our network has more than 38,000 members attending our events in more than 60 cities around the world, helping and inspiring each other.

Over the last seven years we have built what has now become the world’s biggest and most influential network for senior business people with a passion for rugby. It is now time that we extend this opportunity beyond our organisers and members so that the whole world can benefit from these motivational stories, experiences and advice.

We bring you The Rugby Business Network Podcast.


Head Knock leads to career ending shock

Former Ireland International, Kevin McLaughlin reflects on his 10-year professional career at Leinster, which included winning back-to-back Heineken Cups and three Pro12 titles. Kevin confesses that he regrets not being selected in the Ireland squad for the 2011 Rugby World Cup and that injuries curtailed his international career to just eight test caps.

Kevin speaks about how he was forced into retirement in 2015, as after sustaining a concussion he was advised by doctors to hang up his boots. Kevin admits that he was close to retirement anyway, as his body was starting to give him troubles more frequently, but still felt a sense of guilt, disappointment that his career had to end in such a way and a loss of identity. Kevin provides his thoughts on the current laws surrounding concussions in Rugby, saying that players need to be more honest during games when they take a knock to the head.

Fortunately Kevin had been preparing for his life after Rugby while he was still playing and highlights how the Ireland Rugby Union Player’s Association assisted with his planning and transition. For almost two years, Kevin has been the Vice President of Operations at Kitman Labs, which works with professional sports teams to help them minimise injury risk and optimise performance through data collected and analysed by the company’s Sports Science experts. Kevin discusses finding is feet in the business environment after years on the Rugby field and how Kitman Labs incorporates the ethos of team unity that exists in Rugby.

Kevin mentions his involvement with ARC Cancer Support, as a Non-Executive Director. He also advises professional Rugby players to get a mentor, take courses and network to give themselves the best possible chance of a smooth transition when they retire, as career-ending injuries happen more often that you believe.


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“When you retire, reach out to your network, reach out to The Rugby Business Network and lean on the Union. The Unions are there and are happy to help you, give you advice, set you up with different people and make suggestions. ” – Kevin McLaughlin (Vice President of Operations at Kitman Labs / Former Ireland International)

Breaking Down Stereotypes in Rugby and Business

Welsh International Rugby player, Philippa Tuttiett talks about her love of playing many different sports as a child, but only took a real interest to Rugby in University when she watched an International Women’s game live. Her playing career took off from there and says the pinnacle came when she played in the 2014 Women’s World Cup and in the same year was named Welsh Rugby Union Player and Regional Player of the year. Philippa decided to end her Rugby Union career on a high, as she retired from this format three years ago and misses the comradery she experienced with her teammates, but continues to play Sevens Rugby for Wales.

Philippa discusses how there needs to be more exposure to Women’s Rugby on television to help grow the interest in the sport, while she also mentions the challenges for women playing at a top level and not being paid, while the men are. As with the majority of female professional players, who find they need to have a career separate to playing Rugby to make a living, Philippa is no different. At 23 years old after completing her studies at University, Philippa founded Female Building and Interiors based in Cardiff and draws on the advice and inspiration she receives from her father and grandfather, who were both in the construction business.

A decade later and her business is as strong and popular as ever, with clients specifically requesting her and her team of female builders. The construction and renovations industry in a stereotypically male-dominated profession, but Philippa says she is not aware of ever being overlooked for a job because she is a woman.

Philippa is now in the process of launching her own mentoring company and talks about how for now she wants to help people of all ages and different backgrounds, but is targeting schools at the moment. Not being afraid of work, dedication and leadership are some of the traits Philippa says she draws on from being a Rugby player and implements in her building business and mentoring company. Philippa advises female Rugby players looking to transition into a career in business that they need to be proud of what they have done already and utilise the skills they have gained from playing Rugby.


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“You are only ever as good as your last game and I carry that through to the building business. You know it doesn’t matter how many referrals I got, how many recommendations I got, every job needs to be on point.” – Philippa Tuttiett (Founder and Managing Director of Female Building and Interiors / Welsh International Women’s Rugby player)

A Journalistic approach to Rugby growth in USA

Rugby Journalist and writer, Brian Cole, is based in Tampa Bay and speaks about how reporting on the sport happened by chance and is making a career out of it. Having obtained a Master’s in Mass Communications at the University of South Florida, Brian has also written on Politics, Music and the weather, but enjoys writing about Rugby the most.

Brian discusses how the sport of Rugby is growing in the United States, but from what he has encountered, there needs to be more attention at the youth level to give it that extra boost. Support for Rugby by the general public is also increasing at a steady rate, although Brian estimates that in only 15 years’ time it will be able to enjoy the large amount of support the National Football League currently enjoys. Brian admits that Rugby Union and the Eagles receive more support and attention compared to the National Sevens and Rugby League teams. However, he insists that sacrificing the support of Sevens and Rugby League in the country in an effort to quicken the growth of Rugby Union would be foolish.

The biggest stumbling block for Rugby across all codes in the United States to reach the next level, is due to the popularity of American Football according to Brian. He explains that with Colleges and Universities offering Football scholarships, this is what attracts teenagers and young adults to peruse this sport as a career, rather than looking at Rugby as an option. Brian says this to a degree is inhibiting the growth of Rugby in the USA, while the lack of media coverage of Rugby and people being too focused on America Football are the challenges that sport needs to overcome.


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“From the lack of media coverage, not a lot of people know about this sport. Some people are so ingrained into US style Football, even though Rugby is more interesting than Football in many ways, they are attracted to what they know.” – Brian Cole (Rugby Journalist in United States)

Wallaby not keeping “Mumm” on issues in Australian Rugby

The next Sydney Rugby Business Network event on Tuesday 14th November will be tackling issues and obstacles being experienced in Rugby in Australia and President of the Rugby Union Players’ Association and Wallaby Lock, Dean Mumm is one of the guest speakers lined up for the evening.

In the lead up to the event, Dean speaks about why he ended up playing for Australia, despite being born in Auckland and reflects on his illustrious international and club career, after announcing towards the beginning of 2017 that he would be hanging up his boots at the end of this season. Dean is content that his time with the Wallabies is over, when the possibility still exists that he could get one final call up to the squad for the end of year tour in Europe. He discusses how fortunate he was to have amassed 57 caps for Australia, even though for nearly five years he did not feature in the national team. Dean also takes a moment to talk about his Waratahs career and returning to the team, after spending three years at English Premiership side Exeter.

Dean admits there was a sense of anxiety when making his transition from a lengthy Rugby career into the next chapter of his life, but having spent the final 18 months of his playing career gaining work experience, it took away that “unknown” factor. Having recently become the Account Manager at one of the world’s leading insurance brokers, Jardine Lloyd Thompson, Dean says a career in financial services has been an interest of his for many years and mentions how networking played its part in him securing the job. As the President of the RUPA, Dean says it has been difficult to settle into this position he was voted into, due to the tumultuous year on and off the field Rugby that has been experienced in Australia.

Dean is not afraid to confess that the current state of Rugby in the country is at a low point, following a disappointing Super Rugby season and unfavorable results for the Wallabies, but says this provides the opportunity for all those involved in the sport to come together and map out a way forward to get Rugby back to a competitive level. Being one of the very few 30-something year old Australian players to not bow out in Europe, but instead come home and resume a professional career for club and country, Dean explores ways to keep talented Rugby players in Australia.

An optimistic approach for the future of Rugby in Australia is the stance Dean is taking and will be drawing on this when he addresses the fortunate guests to attend the Sydney RBN event. Dean is also looking forward to what the other guest speakers will added to the discussion, which include General Manager of Community Rugby and Strategy at the Australian Rugby Union, Andrew Larratt, Rugby World Cup winning Wallaby Coach and Randwick RFC President, Bob Dwyer and Waratahs Defence Coach for 2018, Simon Cron. Dean ends off by highlighting the 16-day hike he will be taking to the North Pole in 2018 to raise funds for UK premature birth research charity, Borne.



Venue: The Red Room, 99 on York, 99 York St, Sydney on Tuesday 14th Nov from 5.30-7.30pm

Tickets: Cost $30 + GST:

To register: click on the link   (Eventbrite has a limit of 2 signs per transaction – for multiple transaction please contact Adrian)

Dress: Business attire


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“When there’s a trough as such, there is an opportunity to fix it as well and what it has given Australia is an opportunity to come together and really plan out a future.” – Dean Mumm (President of the Rugby Union Players’ Association / Wallaby Lock)



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