International rugby players from around the world will congregate in London on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th November at the second annual Rugby Athletes Commission (RAC). The International Rugby Players Association (IRPA) and World Rugby (WR) jointly established this forum with the purpose of providing an athlete perspective on issues of importance currently facing them and the game.
On the back of a hugely successful Rugby World Cup and with the introduction of Sevens Rugby into the Olympics, the Game is in the midst of rapid global growth. With this in mind, the player representatives will give their expert insight and opinion in key areas including player welfare and laws of the game.
The nominated athletes are made up of both male and female players from the Fifteens and Sevens game and include Victor Vito (NZ), Kosei Ono (JAP), Rachael Burford (ENG), Francois Louw (SA), Charlie Hayter (ENG), John Moonlight (CAN), Sophie Spence (IRE) and Akapusi Qera (FIJ). The RAC provides the IRPA nominated representatives the opportunity to provide direct player feedback to World Rugby and to reaffirm the most pressing issues international players wish to see addressed.
In anticipation of the upcoming RAC, Chief Executive of IRPA Rob Nichol said,
“The Rugby Athletes Commission is a forum unique to our sport. It ensures that athletes are given the opportunity to contribute ideas and initiatives to help the game be the best it can be.”
World Rugby’s Rugby Committee Chairman John Jeffrey added,
“The Commission plays an important role in ensuring that player opinions are prominent within World Rugby’s decision-making processes and I am looking forward to two highly-productive and constructive days considering the major topics of mutual interest.”
Japan Rugby World Cup 2015 star and RAC member Kosei Ono is looking forward to highlighting feedback from his fellow peers,
“Rugby in Japan and Asia has been provided a fantastic opportunity to really showcase our sport leading up to Japan 2019. The players want to ensure that these opportunities are maximised in a way that will leave an ongoing legacy for the success of rugby in our region. The Rugby Athletes Commission provides us this opportunity to voice our thoughts and contribute to the decision making process.”