Three new faces have joined the line-up at International Rugby Players as the global organisation prepares for a new era in the game.
Former British & Irish Lions and Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll, Pacific Rugby Players founder Hale T-Pole and Dr. Sharron Flahive, Waratahs team doctor for over 20 years, have joined the board of the global players’ association.
Brian O’Driscoll said: “I’m joining the board of International Rugby Players as the game enters a defining period in its history. It’s clear to me that rugby needs to change in order to properly grow and players need to be at the forefront of shaping this.
“There are many areas that need to be addressed, from player burnout to reform of the international season and the laws of the game itself and I’m really looking forward to the role.”
BREAKING:— InternationalRugbyPlayers (@IntRugbyPlayers) January 23, 2020
Former British & Irish Lions and Ireland captain @BrianODriscoll , Pacific Rugby Players founder @HaleT06 and Dr.@SharronFlahive, Waratahs team doctor for over 20 years, have joined the board of the global players’ association!
Read more: https://t.co/fCSq920kfj pic.twitter.com/N48FVcuvRS
Dr. Sharron Flahive said: “After 20 years with the Waratahs in Super Rugby, I’m delighted to be able to use my knowledge and experience on a global scale with International Rugby Players. From concussion and player load to the effects of long-haul travel, there are many areas that we need to work on to ensure the long-term welfare of our players and I’m really excited to work on these issues.”
Former Tongan international Hale T-Pole said: “As chairman of the official Pacific Players representative body, I have been working closely with International Rugby Players, but my appointment to the board is an even better opportunity to raise the issues and concerns of Pacific Island players at the highest level.
“We’ve accomplished a lot but have much more to do and I look forward to joining Brian, Sharron and all the board as we focus on having our voice heard in the years to come.”
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BREAKING: Former British & Irish Lions and Ireland captain @brianodriscoll , Pacific Rugby Players founder @haletpole09 and Dr.Sharron Flahive, Waratahs team doctor for over 20 years, have joined our board! Welcome folks – we look forward to doing great things! 💪🏽 Read more: rugbyplayers.org #rugbyplayers #playerwelfare #brianodriscoll #ireland #waratahs #australia #superrugby #PacificRugby #Samoa #Tonga #Fiji #PacificIslands #representation #RugbyWorldCup #Lions #6Nations
The new members were welcomed by the existing board; Chairman Patrick Manley (Independent), Vice-Chairman Damian Hopley (RPA, England), Eugene Henning (My Players, South Africa) and Rob Nichol (NZRPA, New Zealand).
International Rugby Players CEO, Omar Hassanein said: “The addition of Sharron, Hale and Brian is great news for our organisation. Collectively, they bring great experience to our set-up, as well as a huge depth of knowledge that will be important in shaping our strategy for a new era in the game.
“They recognise the need to amplify the player’s voice globally and ensure a genuine representation in the game, especially when it comes to the big issues such as global calendar, the growth of emerging nations, player load and laws of the game. It’s certainly an interesting time ahead for our organisation and our sport.”
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