Career/ Personal Development
Within the International Rugby Player network, we work hard to ensure players are engaged, well balanced and organised in all spheres of life.
Providing opportunities for players to undertake personal development in key areas (career and education, financial management, character development etc.) and ensuring they understand their obligations and responsibilities as professional rugby players, is fundamental to their welfare and the game’s integrity.
We believe that with the right opportunities and support, the same skills, talent and attributes that make an athlete successful on the field can also make them successful off it.
A key principle for International Rugby Players and its member associations across the world is prioritising the players’ physical and mental welfare and personal development both on and off the field.
To help drive this, we ensure there is adequate player representation on working groups or at forums where these issues are discussed. The key message and culture change that we drive stems from our belief that the mental health and wellbeing of a professional athlete is just as important as their physical fitness.
Injury & Illness
International Rugby Players represents players in a range of World Rugby working groups – many of them dealing with areas around the players’ overall physical welfare. Our representation includes having a seat on the Concussion Head Injury Assessment (H.I.A) working group with World Rugby, as well as groups relating to player training and playing load.
International Rugby Players also supports professionals, academics and universities in the advancement of scientific knowledge within the game. We also help bridge the gap between scientific theory and professional practice through our input into the decision-making processes.
Player Safety & Security
Professional players often find themselves living a very public life. International Rugby Players and our member associations across the world provide strategies and advice that helps protect players’ privacy, recognise their right to express views and opinions and keep them informed on their professional responsibilities within the game.
We also work with unions and governing bodies to implement strategies to protect their safety and security.
Anti-Doping & WADA Code
International Rugby Players takes a strong position in ensuring not only that doping is outlawed from our sport to uphold its character and integrity, but also in ensuring that players’ rights are protected in this regard. Equally we work with our global counterparts in other sports to ensure that anti-doping codes are relevant to ensuring a fair and just environment for our athletes to participate in.
Management of Player Agents
International Rugby Players is working in conjunction with World Rugby to develop a Global Agents Accreditation scheme.
This will be embedded in World Rugby regulations and unions and clubs would only be able to deal with registered rugby agents.
We feel this needs to exist so we can help developing nations, particularly in unregulated environments. We need to protect players, as well as the health and image of rugby, as instances of players being unfairly treated by agents is on the rise. Young players from developing nations can be targets, often by agents who are either uneducated, conflicted or incompetent.
International Rugby Players works to ensure that all players are afforded the maximum protection required to compete in such a high-contact sport.
We work with World Rugby, as well as other stakeholders in the game, on the area of insurance to ensure that players are never caught without the required protection, particularly when moving from one jurisdiction to another.
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