Statement re. World Rugby Calendar Reform

Statement re. World Rugby Calendar Reform

Rugby Players Ireland (RPI), the representative body for professional rugby players in Ireland, and the IRFU reaffirm their unwavering and continued dedication to player welfare in light of World Rugby’s calendar reform announced on Tuesday.

Ahead of the World Rugby Council Meeting, Rugby Players Ireland CEO Simon Keogh and IRFU CEO Kevin Potts had engaged with a wide range of stakeholders including Six Nations, World Rugby, and International Rugby Players as part of the consultation process to outline player concerns, emphasising the implications of the new season structure on rest and recovery. RPI and the IRFU were aligned on the collective commitment to safeguarding the wellbeing of Irish players.

Following the announcement, Simon Keogh said, “We have consistently put forward the case that an overhaul of the men’s international game will challenge the welfare of our members, particularly with a truncated Six Nations compounded by a potential additional fixture in November. Nevertheless, Rugby Players Ireland acknowledges that in the spirit of compromise, concessions have been made on all sides. 

“As a responsible and forward-thinking association, Rugby Players Ireland is prepared to accept the anticipated changes to the men’s game, and indeed welcomes the introduction of a set season structure in the women’s game – especially where it can be shown to contribute to the greater good of rugby. However, such support is also conditional on the proposition being kept under close and regular review, and any concerns regarding player welfare being quickly and satisfactorily addressed.”

Rugby Players Ireland remains steadfast in its dedication to advocating for the welfare of professional rugby players in Ireland. The association will continue to engage constructively with all stakeholders to ensure that the reforms uphold the well-established standards that safeguard the health and performance of our athletes.

Back to News