Welsh Rugby Players Association Appoints Barry Cawte As CEO

August 12, 2019

The Welsh Rugby Players Association (WRPA) has appointed Barry Cawte as its new Chief Executive.

Cawte will join the WRPA from the UK’s largest leisure operator, GLL (Greenwich Leisure Limited), which runs more than 350 public sport and leisure centres, including the London Aquatics Centre and Copper Box Arena opened for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Previously he led a newly-formed charitable social enterprise that saved Swansea Tennis Centre from permanent closure and instead transformed it into one of the best facilities of its kind in Wales. Cawte then worked as a consultant to the Tennis Foundation and Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to turn the fortunes of several other tennis facilities around the UK. Cawte has held a range of other commercial roles over a 20-year career in sport and leisure.

As the WRPA’s Chief Executive, Cawte will lead the association in its efforts to represent, develop, promote and protect its members and their interests. He succeeds former Wales international back-row forward and Cardiff Blues captain, Andries Pretorius, who led the organisation for two years.

Ken Owens, WRPA Chairman and Scarlets, Wales and British & Irish Lions hooker, said: “This was a hotly-contested role and we were delighted by the calibre of applicants who wanted to support rugby players in Wales by helping to take our organisation forwards. I’m confident the WRPA will develop under Barry’s leadership to do even more for players and play a role in furthering Welsh Rugby, for everyone’s benefit. Players are key stakeholders in the game and it’s important we have a voice as we work together to take the opportunities and meet the challenges ahead for the game.”

Barry Cawte said: “I’m delighted to be joining the fantastic team at the WRPA to build on the great work already done by the organisation in recent years. I’m determined to ensure Welsh rugby players have a courageous, influential and powerful voice in our sport and this can be achieved with the support of our members, stakeholders and current and future partners. I want to ensure we have a thriving players’ association able to deliver our vision and make a difference to our players and the game across Wales.”