Premiership insurance dispute could spell trouble for Boks
WORLD CUP SPOTLIGHT: World Rugby and Premiership Rugby’s insurance dispute could leave some countries in heaps of trouble ahead of the World Cup 2019 in Japan.
According to The Guardian, the Premiership has given World Rugby 21 days to agree to major changes to its regulations that govern player insurance or face a legal battle.
The dispute stems from World Rugby’s Regulation 23 which stipulates that clubs will be compensated by unions for players injured on international duty who earn £225,000 or less per year. Anything in excess of that is picked up by the clubs.
The insurance covers only a 12-month period.
However, Premiership boss Mark McCafferty are objecting to the regulation and argued that Premiership want no limits set, and also want coverage beyond the current 12-month limit for those players whose injuries last longer.
“If we release players for international duty and they are injured on international duty, then the international game should bear the liability for that,” McCafferty told BBC.
“We have made that position very clear to World Rugby,”
McCafferty revealed that the clubs are prepared to be flexible with the player release, but only if these restrictions are lifted.
The insurance policies of both the British and Irish Lions and the Barbarians covers the club for the full amount of liability if a player is injured.
“There are limits [World Rugby] put either on the salary of the player [£225,000] – and there are a lot of players above that salary – or the term of the injury [12 months],” McCafferty revealed to BBC.
“Those kind of limitations, we think, are false and unfair.
“If a player is earning X, then that is his cost to the club, or if he is off for longer than a year, then the liability should be covered. That is what exists in football, that’s what the Lions cover for us when the players are away on a Lions tour, it’s what the Barbarians do as well.
“So we don’t understand why there should be any difference in terms of World Rugby.
“We could be flexible, but the limitations have to be lifted because it is not reasonable for a club to have to pick up that kind of cost liability when a player has been injured on international duty. There is no logic in that,”
Should the two entities fail to reach an agreement, The Guardian reported that Premiership Rugby (PRL) is planning to prevent all non-England players from joining up with their respective countries until mid-August, under the World Rugby Regulation 9.
This means that that clubs will release the non-English players just 35 days before next year’s tournament starts in Japan.
“We will let the players go of course to the World Cup in accordance to Regulation 9, but we are not going to go beyond Regulation 9 if we are being mistreated in the system generally,” McCafferty said.
As a result, countries like Wales, Scotland and Italy will be affected significantly.
Premiership clubs will be forced to release SANZAAR players for the Rugby Championship, however as soon as the competition concludes players like Francois de Klerk, Franco Mostert and Willie Le Roux could be left in limbo ahead of the prestigious RWC 2019 starting on September 20.
Source: BBCSports & The Guardian
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