Our evening of taking sport success to the boardroom and beyond proved to be a rich source of discussion around the correlation between top-level rugby and succeeding in business. Former Head Coach of the London Broncos in Rugby League and the ACT Brumbies in Super Rugby Tony Rea took us through the strategic approach of the rugby game at professional level – with a practical demonstration involving audience members. He then presented tangible examples of how the qualities and culture of teamwork and motivation in top-level rugby are often transferable to a successful corporate environment – but the route to achieving them can be different. Motivation, which is often intrinsic in professional rugby due to a lifelong love of the sport, is not a given in the corporate environment and needs to be cultivated through discerning recruitment and people management.

The strategic business talk soon gave way to a lighter discussion of rugby in general by Australian rugby international and 2003 Rugby World Cup finalist Justin Harrison’s alter ego Bevan Watson. With refreshing honesty, Bevan provided a hilarious account of Justin’s entry into the world of rugby and lessons learned along the way – some painful!

Our guests and the fdu team had a thoroughly entertaining and worthwhile evening with plenty of networking opportunities and a chance to win an Australian rugby shirt signed by Justin. Even the toy Koala bear found a good home …

“Thanks for the invitation last night, it was a great evening.  Probably one of the best I have been to.  Really was a super evening.”

“An excellent and informative event and definitely aware of the parallels between them. Two excellent speakers in Tony Rea and Justin Harrison.”

“Many thanks for a wonderful evening last night. Great entertainment and I think it was clear that everyone had a great time.”

“Just wanted to send you a brief note to say thank you for this event.  I really enjoyed it – I met some really lovely people, and enjoyed the speakers very much.  I hope to attend another one soon.” 

“The evening was really enjoyable and as a keen former rugby player (not as strong as JH!), I really liked the parallel between the rugby world and what can/should be done in the business world. Please keep on inviting me for those events as it brings always different thoughts and ideas!”