For The Record

Issue 12 2014


“The establishment of our first-ever Rugby Athletes' Commission is a significant step forward for the sport and underscores World Rugby’s commitment to ensure that players are at the heart of the World Rugby decision-making process.”

World Rugby President Bernard Lapasset

The 2014 World Rugby Conference and Exhibition kicked off in London last month.

In an exciting development for athlete advocacy, the world´s top male and female rugby players took part in the inaugural Rugby Athletes´ Commission (RAC) meeting on 16 November 2014.

The launch of the RAC has been well received by players and sporting bodies alike. International Rugby Players´ Association (IPRA) Chief Executive Rob Nicol said that “the establishment of the Rugby Athletes´ Commission is a welcome step in bringing players closer to the decision-making process, as well as recognising their position as stakeholders at the centre of the game.” RAC representative and All Black Victor Vito thought that the establishment of the RAC was “a significant step for player advocacy” which ensures that the “players can have their views and opinions heard”.

The RAC comprises seven elite players representing both men´s and women´s international Fifteens and Sevens rugby teams.The RAC representatives are Victor Vito, Benjamin Kayser and Andrew Trimble (Men’s Fifteens); Kyle Brown and Lee Williams (Men’s Sevens); and Rachael Burford and Lynne Cantwell (Women’s). Chaired by former Scottish international player John Jeffrey, the RAC will advise the international federation’s Rugby Committee and the Medical Commission in the key areas of player welfare.

IOC Athletes’ Commission (AC) representatives currently act as a liaison between the IOC and International Federation athletes’ commissions all around the world.

IOC AC member Angela Ruggiero is delighted to be appointed to work directly with the RAC:

“As a member of the IOC Athletes' Commission, I have seen at first hand the positive impact IF athletes' commissions have around the world. I am thrilled that World Rugby has decided to establish a distinct place in the organisation for the athletes’ voice to be heard. This decision will have a profound effect on every rugby player within their organisation.”

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