Brent Pope is a rugby analyst and mental health advocate. He is a New Zealand-born rugby player, coach, and TV commentator. Brent Pope played rugby with top New Zealand side Otago University before finally settling in Ireland in 1991 and lining out for three seasons with St Marys RFC. Later Brent coached Clontarf RFC for two seasons, leading them to promotion to Division One of the AIL.
Brent was previously employed as a Marketing Manager for Brookfield MRI Clinic, and then as an award-winning European Marketing Manager for a leading Irish and international property development company.
Brent has worked for RTÉ Sport for over 20 years and has also appeared in many crossover programmes such as ‘The Restaurant’ (Irish TV series), and in ‘The Den’, ‘The Afternoon Show’, ‘The Hook and Popey Roadshow’, ‘The Late Late Show’, ‘The Saturday Night Show’, and various travel programmes. Brent also starred as a singer in ‘Charity You’re a Star’ in 2007. In 2012 he learned and played the clarinet for the RTÉ reality music show ‘Instrumental’.
He is also the curator of a popular art gallery for mental health artists called The ‘Outside In Art Gallery’, and has a movie script entitled ‘Coming out to Play’ listed with a major movie production company. Brent is involved in several mental health charities, and is an ambassador for St Patrick’s Hospital ‘Walk in My Shoes’, ‘Cycle Against Suicide’, and RTE’s ‘People Of The Year’.
Brent’s own charity “Elephant in The Room” established in 2022 is aimed to promote and raise awareness of mental health within professional organisations across Ireland & The UK. Brent’s Charity is an organisations public declaration to be committed to supporting their employees’ wellbeing by placing a decorated elephant art piece in company offices.
In his candid autobiography, If You Really Knew Me, Brent Pope talked openly, about his rugby career and personal life. A ruthless, tough player who “ran like a reverse hovercraft”, Brent’s aggressive, uncompromising style inspired the legendary players around him and the teams he coached. He has also published a series of award-winning children’s books for charity.
Brent is a motivational business speaker and his lessons in sport, mental well-being, professional life and sport coaching, business acumen and media insight give him an ideal platform to motivate individuals and businesses alike to achieve their goals and effective management. His years as a rugby player, coach, and media pundit, with his stories of the characters in rugby, have allowed him to entertain audiences at corporate and private functions. Brent is also available to MC events.
“I found the talk very beneficial and insightful. I think it was great of Brent to share his story and promote mental health awareness as it’s something that’s so often overlooked. I was glad that Intel asked him to give this talk and I think it was probably the best event for workplace wellness week” – Intel
“Found Brent to be very open and frank about his journey and health issues. He spoke in a very relaxed informal way which meant it was easy to identify with him” – An Garda Siochanna
“We had a fabulous day yesterday. Thank you Brent for speaking and taking the time afterwards to take photos and to speak to everyone. It meant a lot. Your insightful presentation impacted everyone in the room because as you so rightly said almost all of us have known or know someone who is dealing with a mental health issue” – Iarnród Éireann