Major issues discussed at global conferences

By International Rugby Players

International Rugby Players CEO Omar Hassanein has hailed the success of two global conferences in June where associations around the world had the chance to discuss the biggest issues facing the sport. 

The global players’ body held a meeting with Northern Hemisphere associations in Toulouse before the Southern Hemisphere associations met in Sydney.

Among the major items up for discussion were agent accreditation, eligibility of players, concussion return to play protocols and player load. 

Hassanein said: “The benefits of our member bodies getting together is wide-ranging.

“The first is to get everyone together and talk about global issues, whether that is around agent accreditation or eligibility or whatever the topic is, so that when we go to the table (with World Rugby) we have the overall view of our members.

“The other piece is knowledge-sharing, learning from each other and setting the bar higher and I think it’s been a great forum for that.”

Hassanein and Player Welfare Manager Isaac Boss also addressed a major agent conference in Sydney, hosted by Australian players association RUPA, highlighting growing concerns around eligibility. International Rugby Players has also commenced work on a global accreditation scheme to monitor the impact of agents on the game. 

Hassanein added: “One of the big benefits of a global registration scheme is to be able to track the movement of agents if they move outside the jurisdiction in which they usually work and so that we are aware of where players are placed.

“The other benefit is to be able to track the agents who are not in regulated systems; for instance, if you have agents who are moving players from the Pacific Islands to France, we need to have a better grasp of who they are, whether they are placing the players in the right environments and whether they are following up and offering support. 

“We also need to get the unions and tournament organisers, LNR in France or PRL in England for example, signed up so that everyone is supporting and buying into the system,” he added. 

Plans for the global registration system will be rolled out following further consultation with stakeholders this year. 

International Rugby Players

/ Contributor

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