He had 26 caps for Ireland, scoring 5 tries and 2 conversions, 25 points in aggregate. He played club rugby for London Irish and Harlequins. Staples alongside club colleague Simon Geoghegan also represented Connacht in the Irish Provincial Championship, which at the time served as trial games for selection to the national team.
During his playing career Staples weighed well over 82 kg and was 1.88m in height. He is best remembered for being a fearless player; who was unfortunate to suffer a couple of severe injuries during his career.