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Sir Bill Beaumont named new patron of RFU Injured Players Foundation

By Josh Raisey
Sir Bill Beaumont CBE, Chairperson of World Rugby, looks on prior to the Rugby World Cup France 2023 Bronze Final match between Argentina and England at Stade de France on October 27, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

World Rugby chair Sir Bill Beaumont has been revealed as the new patron of England Rugby’s official charity, the RFU Injured Players Foundation.

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The former England captain joins a list of other former men’s and women’s England captains such as Jason Robinson, Jonny Wilkinson, Sarah Hunter and Maggie Alphonsi in the IPF squad, who will help the charity in raising awareness of its work in the rugby community.

He will begin the role this month and will hold it alongside his duties with World Rugby until his second term in charge comes to an end in November.

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Beaumont said after joining the IPF: “I am honoured to have been asked to become Patron of the RFU Injured Players Foundation, a charity that for me epitomises the rugby spirit.

“Rugby is about people. It’s a sport built on so many great values, but at the heart of it all is the rugby family. There’s always great comfort in knowing that when you face big challenges in life, your rugby community will rally around you.

“Thankfully, these types of injury remain extremely rare in our sport, so most players will never need to contact the IPF. However, it’s important they know the charity is there to help in the unlikely event a catastrophic injury happens, and it will continue to be there to support a player and their family for life.

“Rugby will never stand still when it comes to player welfare. A big focus for me as Patron will be advancing the great work achieved to date in bringing together Foundations, Governing Bodies, and medical experts from different countries to share knowledge and research findings as well as developing successful models of support for catastrophic injury and reduction of its causes.

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“On behalf of everyone at the Injured Players Foundation, I would also like to share our sincere thanks to Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, for his leadership and support of the IPF as Patron since 2010. We appreciate the time and commitment he has given to our rugby community over the years and I’m looking forward to keeping him updated on IPF work and player achievements.”

The IPF’s work involves supporting players from grassroots to professional level who have sustained a catastrophic spinal cord or traumatic brain injury while playing rugby union in England. This includes extending lifelong support through various programmes, aiding players, families, and clubs.

Its services include collaboration with health providers, ongoing rehabilitation, financial aid, and home adaptations, as well as emotional and practical assistance provided to player families.

Moreover, the IPF facilitates players’ reintegration into work or education by funding training and office adaptations, ensuring smoother transitions back.

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Remarkably, 76% of IPF clients are now employed or engaged in education or voluntary work, surpassing the national average of 37% for those with spinal cord injuries.

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