International Rugby Players Association

Australia France

Ensuring the player's voice is heard and respected

Richie McCaw

As an international sport it is important that everyone involved in rugby contributes to building a positive legacy for its future. IRPA provides all international players a formal body to contribute to this endeavour as a valued stakeholder.

— Richie McCaw, New Zealand

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IRPA represents the elite players’ interests at a global level, it is fundamental to the success of the game that our playing environments and welfare provisions allow us to compete to the best of our ability. This, in turn, ensures that the game capitalises on the opportunities that exist to grow its partici- pation, revenue and fan base.

Leinster
  • Together, IRPA and the game’s international administrative body have agreed to consult on issues of importance to professional players and the game of Rugby Union by:

    Allowing for the mutual recognition of the role played by each party

    Developing a relationship between the parties based on a sense of partnership and shared purpose

    Enabling a unified and co operative approach in resolving important international issues recognising the unique spirit, structure and ethos of the game of Rugby Union

  • IRPA is the world representative body for professional rugby players on international issues of importance to the players and the game. We work alongside international, national and competition governing bodies, to ensure there is player representation and involvement in the key decision making processes of the game.

    National Rugby Players Associations and Groupings worldwide are members of IRPA, with coverage extending across all the major rugby competitions, countries and markets and the 4,000 professional rugby players worldwide.

    In 2007 IRPA and the IRB signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that provided for the recognition of the IRB as the world governing body for the game and IRPA as the world representative body for professional Rugby Union Players.

  • Striving for fair, reasonable and safe work environments; commercial equity and fairness

    Rugby Players, past and present, are also our coaches, administrators, fans, parents, referees, business contacts and ambassadors for rugby. We believe the quality of people involved in the sport echoes throughout our communities and creates a legacy we can be proud of. IRPA nurtures this ethos amongst players to ensure the legacy continues to flourish.

    OUR FOCUS
  • Ensuring the player’s voice is heard and respected
    ..

    More than 60 player representatives from every “elite level” international team in men’s, women’s and Sevens rugby make up the IRPA Player Advisory Group. Acting on behalf of their fellow players, the Advisory Group are aware of the issues facing the game and provide feedback on their welfare and professional rugby environments, allowing IRPA to target the most pressing issues facing the game’s participants.

    OUR FOCUS
  • Giving back to our families, friends, community and the game

    Rugby Players, past and present, are also our coaches, administrators, fans, parents, referees, business contacts and ambassadors for
    rugby. We believe the quality of people involved in the sport echoes throughout our communities and creates a legacy we can be proud of. IRPA nurtures this ethos amongst players to ensure the legacy continues to flourish.

    OUR FOCUS
  • Focusing on developing people, developing players .

    Within the IRPA Player Association 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 some key areas (career and education, financial management, character development) and in ensuring they understand their obligations and responsibilities as professional rugby players is fundamental to their welfare and the game’s integrity. We believe with the right opportunities and support that the same skills, talent and attributes that make an athlete successful on the field can also make them successful off it.

    OUR FOCUS
  • Prioritising player welfare and promoting positive mental health and wellness

    A key principle for IRPA and its member Player Associations is prioritising the players’ physical and mental welfare, and personal development, both on and off the field. To help drive this, IRPA always ensures there is adequate player representation on working groups or at forums where these issues are discussed. The key message and culture change that IRPA is driving stems from our belief that the mental health and wellbeing of a professional athlete is just as important as their physical fitness.

    OUR FOCUS
  • Demanding quality governance and management ..
    .

    We believe maintaining the integrity of the game is about good decision making by all those involved across many different environments – decisions that protect and enhance the brand of rugby. Quality leadership, governance and management is important in any environment, but it is just as important to align these qualities with the interests of the Players. We advocate for formal partnership agreements between all professional players and administrative bodies, ensuring all stakeholders are pulling in the same direction.

    OUR FOCUS
  • Protecting right to privacy, freedom of expression and opinion

    Professional players often find themselves living a very public life. IRPA and our member Player Associations provide strategies and advice that helps protect players’ privacy; recognise their right to express views and opinions, and keeps them informed on their professional responsibilities within the game.

    OUR FOCUS
  • Seeking best practice, evidence based medicine and care

    IRPA supports professionals, academics and universities in the advancement of scientific knowledge within the game. IRPA also help bridge the gap between scientific theory and professional practice – through our input into decision-making processes.

    OUR FOCUS
  • Obtaining and sharing knowledge, bettering ourselves and each other

    Our member Player Associations from France, England, Ireland, Italy, Wales, South Africa, The Pacific Islands, Japan, Australia and New Zealand have a wealth of information and experience. Twice a year IRPA hosts a knowledge-sharing conference where member Player Associations share information and ideas to ensure the game and players continue to thrive. IRPA is also a founding member of UNI Sport Pro – the independent worldwide representative body for elite athletes.

    OUR FOCUS
  • WHAT WE DO

    • Ensuring the players’ voice is heard and respected .
      .

      Focusing on developing people, developing players .

      Demanding quality governance and management
      .

      Seeking best practice, evidence based medicine and care

    • Striving for fair, reasonable and safe work environments; commercial equity and fairness

      Giving back to our families, friends, community and the game

      Prioritising player welfare and promting positive mental health and wellness

      Protecting right to privacy, freedom of expression and opinion

      Obtaining and sharing knowledge, bettering ourselves and each other

      OUR FOCUS
  • MEMBERS

    IRPA AND ITS MEMBER PLAYER ASSOCIATIONS WORK ACROSS ALL THE ELITE RUGBY ENVIRONMENTS TO ENSURE THE PLAYERS COME TOGETHER AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR CONTRIBUTING POSITIVELY TO THE GAME’S DEVELOPMENT

  • National Rugby Player Associations worldwide are members of IRPA. IRPA’s membership is currently made up of the national Professional Rugby Players’ Associations from each of South Africa, England, Australia, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Argentina and New Zealand. All member Associations have representation on the IRPA Board, which has monthly meetings by conference call and at least six-monthly conferences in person.

    Countries without established player associations are represented by their national player representative on the IRPA Player Advisory Group (PAG). In this way IRPA’s representative mandate covers male and female players across all the major rugby competitions and playing nations in both 15’s and 7’s games.

    PLAYER ADVISORY GROUP
    • RUPA
    • RPA
    • Provale
    • NZRPA
    • GIRA
    • SARPA
    • JRPA
    • WRPA
    • PIPA
    • IRUPA


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