Players injured on international duty and their professional clubs will benefit from enhanced financial protection after World Rugby announced amendments to its regulations covering compensation for players injured on international duty.
Good for players, unions and clubs and with player welfare as its central consideration, the financial cap on a union’s liability for player release stipulated under Regulation 9 will more than double to £500,000 up to a period of 12 months of temporary injury.
Approval by the World Rugby Council at its annual meeting in Dublin follows a comprehensive review of Regulation 9 and 23 in consultation with unions and professional clubs and will operate from 1 July, in advance of Rugby World Cup 2019 preparation camps and matches. World Rugby will also continue to provide an insurance option for unions under its dedicated global policy, reflecting its continued support of tier two nations.
The package of changes includes an enhanced check in/check out process for players when transitioning between their club and international teams, which compliments the requirement for all players to participate in load monitoring in order to play at Rugby World Cup, reducing the risk of injury via identification of risk situations.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: "The welfare of players is our primary responsibility and we continually review the game’s regulations and laws to ensure that they are in step with a modern, evolving rugby environment and support the players, who are the beating heart of our sport.
"This announcement is more than a regulatory change, it is a statement of commitment to players, unions and clubs. Everyone now has certainty ahead of Rugby World Cup of an appropriate and proportional level of guaranteed cover should an injury occur whilst on international duty during the sport’s biggest event."
"I would like to thank my union colleagues for their consideration of this important matter and the professional clubs for their full engagement and positive support of the world’s top players representing their nation on the sport’s biggest stage."
The World Rugby Council at its annual meeting in Dublin on Wednesday also approved amendments to the following regulations:
Regulation 8 (Eligibility): furthering the obligation for unions to ensure that they maintain accurate and complete records of international player “capture” and that appropriate and timely responses are given to requests for eligibility status.
Regulation 6 (anti-corruption and betting): to give unions further powers to access mobile communication data during an investigation and clarify the sanctions that will apply to breaches of this Regulation. These changes highlight the sport’s clear commitment in this important area.
Regulation 4 (anti-poaching): to clarify which “contracted persons” are captured by the anti-poaching provisions and to confirm that it is permitted for players and contracted persons to have discussions within the final six months of their contracts.
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