09 October 2013



Rugby Players from throughout the world have taken another significant step forward in ensuring their voice is heard and welfare protected with the formalisation of the International Rugby Players’ Association (IRPA) Player Advisory Group.

IRPA – the worldwide representative body of professional rugby players - has confirmed the establishment of the IRPA Player Advisory Group as a means of ensuring it remains player welfare driven and game focused. It is designed to ensure the IRPA Board and management team are able to get direct elite player input on issues of importance to players and the game, in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Made up of 48 current elite rugby players from throughout the rugby world the IRPA Player Advisory Group contains female and male representation across 15’s and 7’s, and ensures a presence in all elite international teams and professional rugby competition environments.

Representatives on the group are leaders from the World’s high performance teams across the male and female 15’s and 7’s competitions including; Jean de Villiers, Juan Hernandez Lobbe, Toby Flood, Alun Wyn Jones, Johnny Sexton, Conrad Smith, Pascal Pape, Benn Robinson, Deacon Manu, DJ Forbes, Rob Vickerman, Lee Williams, Kelly Griffin, Rachel Burford, Huriana Manuel and Kelly Russell

“The establishment of the IRPA Player Advisory Group is further evidence of the players’ desire to be engaged on important issues and their willingness to take an active part in their own independent representative body and the work IRPA undertakes on their behalf” said IRPA Chairman Damian Hopley

“We wish to acknowledge and congratulate those players who make up our inaugural Player Advisory Group”

The IRPA Player Advisory Group will provide the IRPA Board and management with feedback on all international issues of importance to players and the game including topical matters such as season structure, player development programs and dual careers, player mental and behavioural health and wellbeing, game integrity, wagering and corruption, anti-doping, concussion, game rules and regulations, agents, competition structures, player release, insurance, tournament terms of participation, employment standards and conditions and the establishment of independent national player associations.

“All the players on the Player Advisory Group carry the mandate and support of their fellow players” said IRPA Executive Director Rob Nichol “In the countries where we have established Player Associations player input is already capable and strong. However in many professional rugby environments and teams formalised Player Associations have, for whatever reason, not been encouraged or established. The IRPA Player Advisory Group is a sensible way of ensuring that players from throughout the elite rugby world have a united voice in IRPA, and the opportunity for input on important issues that impact on players and the game”

For a full list of players making up the advisory group please click here.


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