You sit down with the woman behind the ACT Brumbies and ask what a day in the life of Robin Duff entails. "How long is a piece of string," the Brumbies' player development manager smiled. Duff is the Rugby Union Players' Association's representative at Brumbies headquarters. There is one stationed at each Super Rugby AU club. She admits being a woman in a male-dominated sport means she needs a thick skin, and rest assured Duff can give as good as she gets. But what makes her stand out is an innate ability to get those around her to feel comfortable about opening up. When a Brumby needs something, she is the one they turn to. "When they first come, I sit down and have a really good chat and get to know them. What have they done before? What would they like to do?" Duff said. "Getting a place to live might come into it, we get a lot of young boys here as well, so it's really important to help them along the way in terms of checking in with them all the time. How are you settling in? How's it going? Is it daunting? "Particularly ones that have moved away from home, which we do have a few of. I can be in touch with their parents if need be, but it's really a matter of checking in with them and making sure they're okay. "People could have issues in all sorts of different ways. It could be they just don't know how to cook, so the dietician will come in and help. They could be homesick." It could be anything, so Duff covers everything. Think career and education planning, personal and professional development workshops, counselling, financial planning and management, and preparation for life after football. Brumbies duo Allan Alaalatoa and Tom Cusack have finished university degrees in her time, living proof that "where there's a will, there's a way". So often Duff is the one managing a player's university schedule around training and tours, or helping academy boys and Super W players balance life and rugby. If you're looking for Duff at the Brumbies' clash with the Queensland Reds at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night, there's a good chance you'd find her amongst the players' families cheering on the players she has helped along the road. "I really love seeing boys who come in very young, not particularly mature in the way they think, they won't say anything to anybody, and two years later or so, they're different," Duff said. "They're able to speak up in team meetings, I may have worked with them on some issues and you see them building confidence. I absolutely love that. "There are some here and you think 'my god, look how far they've come'. I will remind them of that, and go 'look how far you've come. It's amazing, it's fantastic. Think of what you were back then, what you've been through and how you got through it. Now look at you.'''