REGULATION 5. AGENTS
A. The rationale for Regulation 5 is to create a regulatory framework to help ensure a minimum level of standard and quality control in the activities of rugby agents with the ultimate aim of driving standards upwards with requirements for education, continuous professional development and integrity.
B. These Regulations are intended to benefit Accredited Agents, Unions, Players, and Clubs by seeking to ensure that Agents are of good standing, and uphold the World Rugby values.
5.1 Application of Regulation 5
5.1.1. Regulation 5 applies to Unions, Clubs, Players, and Accredited Agents. Unions may delegate certain provisions of this Regulation but are ultimately responsible for compliance with Regulation 5.
5.1.2 Any Club or Player who wishes to avail of the services of an Agent, must engage an Accredited Agent.
5.1.3. Furthermore, Unions or Clubs when dealing with an Agent in the context of Agency Activity must ensure the Agent is an Accredited Agent.
5.1.4 Accredited Agents must abide in all respects with this Regulation and any Rules.
5.1.5 Principals, whether Clubs or Players or otherwise, may be held liable for the acts or omissions of Accredited Agents instructed by them.
5.2.1 The definitions set out in this Regulation shall have the following meanings:
“Accredited Agent” means an Agent who is either registered with an Approved National Scheme of a Union or with the World Rugby Scheme as set out in Regulation 5.7.
“Agent” means any person who carries out or seeks to carry out Agency Activity.
“Agency Activity” means acting in any way and at any time in the capacity of agent, representative or adviser to a Club or Player, either directly or indirectly, in the negotiation, arrangement or execution of any employment transaction or employment contract negotiation.
“Agency Contract” means the written agreement between an Agent and the Principal which sets out the terms and conditions under which the Agent is contracted.
“Agency Jurisdiction(s)” means the Union(s) in which an Accredited Agent is registered to carry out Agency Activity.
“Agents’ Registration Committee” or “ARC” means the World Rugby Agents Registration Committee and shall consist of 3 independent persons appointed in conjunction with the International Rugby Players.
“Approved National Scheme” means an agents scheme operating within a Union which is approved by the ARC.
“Club” means a club admitted into membership of or affiliated to any Union in accordance with that Union’s rules.
“Principal” means the person or Club who instructs an Agent.
“Registering Body” means either the Registering Union or World Rugby, depending on the scheme with which the Agent is registered.
“Registering Union” means any Union with which registration is sought via the Approved National Scheme and in the jurisdiction of which the Agent carries or intends to carry out Agency Activity.
“Rules” means the respective laws, rules and/or regulations in force in each of the Unions.
“World Rugby Scheme” means the scheme established by World Rugby to register Agents which operates where a Union does not have an Approved National Scheme.
5.2.2 Any other capitalised terms used but not defined in this Regulation 5 shall have the meaning assigned to them in the World Rugby Bye-Laws and Regulations Relating to the Game.
5.3 Conditions of Registration
5.3.1 All Agents must register (and continue to be registered) as an Accredited Agent in one of two ways:
(a) To the extent only that an Approved National Scheme does not exist in any jurisdiction in which the Agent is seeking to carry out Agency Activity, by following the application and renewal process set out in Regulation 5.7 and 5.8 respectively; or
(b) By following the application and renewal process set out in an Approved National Scheme.
5.3.2 Accredited Agents must at all times adhere to the World Rugby Code of Conduct for Agents (the “Code of Conduct”) which can be found at Appendix 1 along with the World Rugby Regulations Relating to the Game. Any breach of the Code of Conduct or the Regulations will result in a disciplinary hearing under Regulation 5.11.
5.3.3 Accredited Agents registered with the World Rugby Scheme may describe themselves as “World Rugby Accredited Agents” or as “Accredited by World Rugby” (as the case may be) and quote their registration number (if applicable) but may not refer to their registration in any other way or seek to promote their business by claiming or implying that they have been vetted by World Rugby.
5.3.4 Accredited Agents are registered personally either by World Rugby or by the Registering Union and may not transfer or delegate their registration to any other person or any other entity.
5.4 Accredited Agents and Agency Contracts
5.4.1 Accredited Agents must have an Agency Contract in place for all Principal(s) that they represent in the Principal’s first language and must use either:
(a) the Registering Union’s model agent contract (where relevant); or
(b) an alternative contract that complies with this Regulation, all other relevant World Rugby Regulations Relating to the Game, and complies with all requirements of the Code of Conduct, and the Registering Union’s Rules (to the extent applicable).
5.4.2 Accredited Agents must advise in writing any Player with whom they are proposing to enter into an Agency Contract to obtain independent legal advice prior to execution of any such contract.
5.4.3 Where a Player is under the age of 18, the Agency Contract must be countersigned by a parent or guardian.
5.4.4 Where requested by the ARC, Accredited Agents must submit to the ARC, within 28 days of a written request, the full Agency Contract between the Accredited Agent and any Principal(s), including any annexes, variations and such other documentation pertaining to the same.
5.5 Remuneration of Registered Agents
5.5.1 The Principal for whom the Agent acts shall be responsible for payment of the fees or other remuneration of the Agent but this shall not prevent a third party paying the Agent on such Principal’s behalf. The basis on which any such fees or other remuneration are to be calculated must be reasonable and shall be clearly stated in the Agency Contract, along with the identity of the paying party.
5.5.2 Any remuneration provisions involving commission shall be expressly set out in the Agency Contract and must comply fully with all local laws, including those governing commission where relevant.
5.6 Registration of Agents
5.6.1 In order for a person to become registered as an Accredited Agent that person must:
(a) Register, or be an Agent registered, with an Approved National Scheme; or
(b) Where an Approved National Scheme does not exist in any jurisdiction in which the Agent is seeking to carry out Agency Activity, by following the registration process set out in Regulation 5.7 below in respect of each such jurisdiction.
5.7 Registration Process for World Rugby Scheme
5.7.1 In order to register as an Accredited Agent with the World Rugby Scheme, applicants shall be required to:
(a) pay the relevant registration fee;
(b) provide evidence where requested that the applicant has the appropriate professional indemnity insurance in place with a reputable insurer to the level required by applicable law;
(c) agree to be bound by and abide in all respects with all World Rugby Regulations Relating to the Game, the Code of Conduct, and all relevant local laws;
(d) complete the World Rugby Scheme education module and pass a written test (the format and frequency of such test to be determined by World Rugby);
(e) inform World Rugby of the jurisdiction in which they intend to carry out Agency Activity; and
(f) if requested, sit an interview with World Rugby.
Once registered, Agents will be provided with a World Rugby registration number which can be used on any of the Agent’s official documentation and which is linked to all Agency Jurisdiction(s).
5.7.2 World Rugby and Registering Unions shall maintain a public register of Accredited Agents and, in the case of World Rugby, the Agents’ Agency Jurisdiction(s). It is the responsibility of Agents to ensure that their details are correct and to inform World Rugby or the Registering Union of any change in their details which would require an amendment to the register.
5.7.3 World Rugby may publish any decision made in accordance with this Regulation including the name and any other relevant information in relation to any disciplinary or appeal decision.
5.8 Renewal of Registration
5.8.1 In order to remain an Accredited Agent the Accredited Agent must:
(a) comply with the relevant renewal procedure of the Approved National Scheme of the Registering Union where relevant; or
(b) in the case of an Agent registered with the World Rugby Scheme, as required from time to time, satisfy the following criteria;
(i) pay the relevant registration fee;
(ii) provide evidence where requested that the applicant has the appropriate professional indemnity insurance in place with a reputable insurer to the level required by applicable law;
(iii) agree to be bound by and abide in all respects with the World Rugby Regulations Relating to the Game, the Code of Conduct, and all relevant local laws; and
(iv) fulfil any other conditions reasonably stipulated by World Rugby from time to time.
5.8.2 Any failure by an Accredited Agent to comply with the above-mentioned renewal terms may result in that Agent no longer being registered with the Registering Union and/or the World Rugby Scheme.
5.9 Cessation of Registration
5.9.1 If for any reason an Accredited Agent ceases to be registered with all relevant Approved National Schemes or, to the extent applicable, the World Rugby Scheme they will:
(a) where accredited by World Rugby, immediately cease to be accredited by World Rugby;
(b) cease to hold themselves out as Accredited Agents;
(c) not by any act or omission mislead (or allow to be misled) any third party into thinking that they are an Accredited Agent;
(d) inform their Principals that they are no longer Accredited Agents and that they can therefore no longer act for them as an Accredited Agent in any matter that pertains to registration as an Agent; and
(e) not undertake any Agency Activity of any kind.
5.10 Operating Outside of Agency Jurisdiction
Accredited Agents who seek to carry out Agency Activity in a jurisdiction outside their Agency Jurisdiction must either:
(a) formally engage an Accredited Agent in that jurisdiction to carry out the relevant Agency Activity on their behalf, and as such, Unions, Clubs, and Players must perform contract negotiations with that nominated Accredited Agent only; or
(b) if they wish to act in the relevant jurisdiction themselves,
(i) undergo the same application and renewal process set out in the Approved National Scheme of the relevant Union, or
(ii) where no such Approved National Scheme exists, undergo the application and renewal process set out in Regulations 5.7 and 5.8 as applicable for such jurisdiction.
5.11.1 Where an Approved National Scheme applies, any alleged breaches of this Regulation 5 shall be dealt with in accordance with the relevant Rules. Where no Approved National Scheme applies, or where World Rugby deems it appropriate to do so, alleged breaches of this Regulation 5 shall be dealt with by the ARC as set out below.
5.11.2 Where disciplinary action arises out of a breach of this Regulation 5 that occurs in a Union where no Approved National Scheme is in place, World Rugby and or the ARC may require that Union to provide information regarding the interpretation of relevant national laws. This information shall be in the form of a legal opinion obtained from a competent independent legal advisor and shall be procured at that Union’s expense.
5.11.3 The ARC Chairman shall convene the ARC to hear any alleged breaches of Regulation 5, and the ARC shall, subject to Regulation 20, be entitled to deal with the matter procedurally as it considers appropriate provided that the parties concerned are aware of the case against them and are afforded a reasonable opportunity to make representations and present their case. For the avoidance of doubt, World Rugby shall have the right to be represented and shall be entitled through its nominated representative to make submissions during any proceedings conducted by the ARC.
5.11.4 The ARC shall, at the conclusion of any such enquiry, inform the relevant party if they have been charged with a breach of Regulation 5 (and provide a copy of the charge sheet).
5.11.5 Upon finding that a breach of Regulation 5 has been committed, the ARC shall be entitled to impose such sanctions as they think fit. Such sanctions may include, but shall not be limited to:
(a) a caution, warning as to future conduct, reprimand and/or a fine;
(b) a suspension from Agency Activity for a specified period;
(c) cancellation or refusal of the registration of any Agent;
(d) an order that an Agent, Union, or Club pay compensation and/or restitution;
(e) any combination of the penalties set out in 5.11.5(a) to (d) above.
5.11.6 The ARC shall be entitled to make such order in relation to costs as is deemed appropriate.
5.11.7 In determining the appropriate sanction under these Regulations, the ARC shall be entitled to take account of mitigating and/or aggravating circumstances.
5.11.8 An affected party may appeal against the decision of the ARC, the sanction imposed and/or any costs order. To be valid, any such appeal, together with the written grounds of appeal, must be lodged with the ARC Chairman, or his or her designee, within 14 days of the date of the written decision.
5.11.9 On receipt of a notice of appeal and the grounds for appeal within the time limit set out in Regulation 5.11.8, an Appeal Committee shall be appointed by the Judicial Panel Chairman or his or her designee pursuant to Regulation 20. The Appeal Committee shall, ordinarily, be made up of three members of the Appeal Panel, under the Chairmanship of a senior legal practitioner who shall subject to Regulation 20, have the discretion to regulate the procedure prior to and at any Appeal Committee hearing.
5.11.10 In exceptional circumstances where the conduct of an Agent is considered by the ARC to be of such a serious/gross nature that their continued involvement in the Game in any capacity pending the final determination of the matter is not deemed appropriate, then the ARC may at their discretion impose a provisional suspension on an Agent subject to a misconduct complaint pending the resolution of the case. The Agent affected may appeal such decision in which case an Appeal Committee or Appeal Officer shall be appointed as set out at Regulation 5.11.9 above.
5.11.11 Any Agent who is suspended, whether provisionally under Section 5.11.10, or following a hearing under Regulation 5.11.5(b) or has their registration cancelled under 5.11.5(c) who appeals their suspension or cancellation shall remain suspended pending the outcome of their appeal.
Agents: Code of Conduct
• The Agent shall at all times continue to be registered as an Accredited Agent when undertaking Agency Activity;
• The Agent shall always act in the best interests of the Player or Club for whom they act and in accordance with their fiduciary duties;
• The Agent shall always act in a professional manner, including acting honestly, diligently, fairly and with integrity;
• The Agent shall undertake Agency Activity on behalf of a Player or Club to the best of their ability and use all reasonable endeavours in connection therewith;
• The Agent shall not enter into negotiations with any third parties on a Player’s or a Club’s behalf without the Player’s or Club’s consent;
• The Agent shall avoid any conflicts of interest and shall disclose any conflict of interest that may arise from time to time;
• The Agent shall not conduct themselves in a manner that brings or is likely to bring the Agent and/or the Player or the Club they represent and/or World Rugby and/or the Game into disrepute;
• The Agent shall keep the Player or Club he is representing informed of any and all material information relating to the provision of the Agency Activity;
• The Agent must not so arrange matters as to conceal or misrepresent the reality and/or substance of any matters in relation to any Agency Activity;
• The Agent shall disclose to the Player or Club for whom they act the precise amount of commission that the Agent will be paid in respect of any Agency Activity conducted on the Player’s or the Club’s behalf as well as the method of calculation of such amount and the party that will be responsible for paying the Agent;
• The Agent shall keep accurate books showing all remuneration received in respect of any Agency Activity undertaken on behalf of a Player or Club for whom they act;
• The Agent shall not, directly or indirectly, pay any part of his remuneration to the Player or the Club for whom they act, or any person associated with or connected to the Player or the Club;
• The Agent must not give, offer or seek to offer, any consideration of any kind, either directly or indirectly, to a Player or a Club, or any person associated with or connected to the Player or the Club, in relation to the Player or the Club entering into an Agency Contract with that Agent;
• The Agent shall comply with the World Rugby Regulations Relating to the Game, the Rules, regulations or relevant policies of any Union in which he carries out Agency Activity and all applicable laws;
• The Agent shall make any disclosures to World Rugby or any Union in which they carry out Agency Activity as may be required by World Rugby or the relevant Union from time to time subject to any confidentiality or other legal obligations;
• The Agent shall at all times have in place appropriate professional liability insurance with a reputable insurer as required by applicable law which covers claims in respect of the provision of Agency Activity;
• The Agent shall comply with any disciplinary process initiated pursuant to World Rugby’s Regulations Relating to the Game.