Men’s and women’s players from across the Sevens and 15’s game have met with World Rugby bosses to discuss some of the biggest issues in the game.
The Rugby Athletes Commission, organised by International Rugby Players and World Rugby, took place in Cape Town on Monday, December 16.
Rugby World Cup 2019 players including Ireland’s Rory Best and USA’s Blaine Scully were joined by former RWC winners Conrad Smith and Jean de Villiers, with England’s Charlie Hayter, Kenya’s Humphrey Kayange, Canada’s Harry Jones representing the Men’s Sevens game while Rachael Burford and Sene Nauopu presented the views of Women’s players across 15s and 7s.
Key outcomes from the 2019 meeting, which sets the agenda for the relationship between the Players and World Rugby in the years ahead, included:
• Continue discussion on Sevens tournament formats including establishment of a multi-stakeholder working group
• Support for further player welfare initiatives including concussion education
• Commitment to develop and support player development and mental health support
• Information share around growth in the Women’s game including competition structures and commercial growth
• Promotion of minimum standards around player contracts
• Encourage unions to develop organised player bodies where they do not exist
• Discussion on key principles around future global calendar planning
Speaking after the meeting, International Rugby Players CEO Omar Hassanein said: “Our players want to make sure they have a strong and impactful voice in the game and play their full role in the future growth and success of the sport.
“The Rugby Athletes’ Commission is a key forum in that mission and an opportunity for us to express our views, discuss areas of collaboration and tackle challenges and opportunities in a spirit of partnership.”
Rugby Athletes Commission. Players to continue to advocate 4 not only a seat at the table w/ the ability to contribute but as a stakeholder involved in strategic decision making. Athletes are able to do more than tackle & can provide leadership & insight to shape future of sport https://t.co/SnAbo9My48— Blaine Scully (@BlaineScully1) December 17, 2019
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