A new accord will look after our Island players
IRB sets plans to look after our boys
The International Rugby Board Council has formerly ratified the Woking Accord that was agreed by Rugby’s stakeholders at its Integrated Season Forum in Woking, England last November. The measures agreed are designed to continue the phenomenal growth of Rugby around the world.
In short the plans will ensure our players are guaranteed to have a break in their hectic year, they will get 10 weeks off to get some legs up in the village or travel and enjoy life a bit more. This will most importantly preserve our players and hopefully give them a longer rugby career and longer earning capacity.
“The Woking Forum was an historic step forward for the Game as the comprehensive three day Forum agenda led to detailed debate on the key issues impacting on the development of the Game. With so many stakeholders present we were able to deliver some specific outcomes and I am delighted that the IRB Council has formerly adopted these,” said IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset.
“While the Forum recognised that the structure of the existing international match and tour schedule is still the best formula for the Game at present it recognised we needed to implement several key measures to allow the Game to move forward within this structure.”
The IRB Council has now ratified these measures which comprise:
• Adoption of player welfare standards with a player recovery period of a minimum 10 weeks per year
• Capping the number of annual Test matches that would attract automatic player release under Regulation 9 at 11 and that the English and French professional club seasons will finish May 31 each year
• A transition programme for Argentina’s full integration into the senior international playing calendar
• Investigating the possibility of establishing an Inter-Hemisphere Tournament
• Creating new initiatives in the form of competition structures for developing nations
• Adoption of a permanent September-October Rugby World Cup window.”
“Other key steps in the development of the Game include the modernisation of several of the regulations that govern the Game. These include regulations that govern player availability for international matches, player status and movement and the international match and tour agreements.”
“Work is progressing well on these and the IRB is confident that very shortly we will deliver, in conjunction with Rugby's key stakeholders, regulations that are fair, reasonable, proportionate and fit for purpose for the modern Game and which provide clarity and certainty for all stakeholders,” added Lapasset.