Johnny Sexton & Richie McCaw Help Agree Historical Deal With World Rugby

Stronger voice.

The co-presidents  of the International Rugby Players Association (IRPA), Johnny Sexton and Richie McCaw have helped drive a historic deal with World Rugby that gives professional players an even stronger voice in the game and sees the organisation relocate to Dublin to work closely with rugby’s governing body.

The new deal which is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a four-year agreement running from 2017 – 2020 and ensures players will be represented and consulted on key issues and decisions affecting the professional players and the future of the game.

Key elements of the agreement include:

  • A co-operative approach to resolving key international issues
  • The joint management of the ongoing Rugby Athletes’ Commission and player consultation and input into the annual World Rugby Medical Commission Conference
  • A focus on all aspects on player welfare, including concussion, mental health; and player load
  • An agreement to work together on various collaborative projects such as agent registration and personal development programmes.
  • A continued commitment to engage on research projects together, such as post tournament player surveys and reports.
  • The proactive involvement of Players in game related issues such as international player release, eligibility and availability, law reviews; and competition, tournament and season structure matters as they arise.

Two-time Rugby World Cup winner Richie McCaw says the deal is ground-breaking in its nature.

“This historic agreement between IRPA and World Rugby is ground-breaking in its nature, setting the tone for future interactions between professional players and administrators at a global level.  I have no doubt that the organisation will go from strength to strength given the opportunities that this agreement presents and the strong relationship that exists with World Rugby” McCaw said.

IRPA Northern Hemisphere president, Jonathan Sexton, says:

“It’s important that players are united and have a strong voice in the game. This deal with World Rugby is a good step forward to addressing many of issues facing Rugby players across the world. Sexton said
“There are obviously still areas, especially around player welfare, that we have to improve and I’m confident that IRPA can work positively with World Rugby and the domestic Player Associations and National Unions to make the sport better for all involved, both on and off the field.”

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