English Championship Clubs Player Dealings

The ARA have been successful in negotiating that Championship Clubs and Premiership clubs in England now fall under the same regulation on player dealings i.e. You can do deals 6 months before the end of the season. This replaces the old 3 month rule for the championship.

The ARA is now working on getting this regulation scrapped altogether for all dealing including the Premiership.

Standard Contracts

The RFU along with the RFU have pushed hard for standard contracts across our industry. At this current time the position of the ARA is against this concept and we are pleased that no standard contract will be insisted upon for the time being. Please note however, all player/agents contracts must comply with RFU Regulation 8.6.1, the remaining provision of RFU Regulation 8 and IRB Regulations 5.  If your player/agent contract does not comply with regulations then you will be in breach of the regulations and can be subject to disciplinary action.

Agents Registration and Exam

All agents would have received their renewal packs from the RFU which now include taking an open book exam. The ARA was instrumental in bringing in this process to help raise standards of agents registering and also ensure a better more transparent form of registration. The exam is an open book exam and the information pack within the documents sent to you by the RFU include all the answers. The ethos for the exam is aimed as a form of training rather than a real test.

However the ARA has taken issue with the ARB and RFU over the high pass mark. We have been assured that the exam is easy but are monitoring results.

Unfortunately we were not allowed to do the paper before circulation so we could provide feedback and hence are monitoring the situation closely.

Home Unions Agents Scheme

A frustration from the past has been the different treatment agents from other unions may receive. We have along with the ARB successfully negotiated a unified Home Unions Agents Scheme. The key principles of the harmonised scheme are:

  • The regulations apply equally to all agents who carry out Agent Activity in any of Home Unions even if the agent is based outside of the Home Unions.
  • Agents must register with the Home Union in which the agent is primarily going to carry out or intends to carry out agent activity.
  • All such agents must undergo the same application and renewal process regardless of where they are based, regardless of whether they are registered with an overseas agents’ scheme and regardless of whether they would have been previously classified as an ‘Exempt Individual’ under the previous regulations. The concept of ‘Exempt Individual’ and ‘Overseas Agent’ therefore no longer exist and all agents will be subject to the same regulations and application/renewal procedure.
  • Once admitted by one Home Union the agent will automatically be entitled to operate in the other Home Unions and will be subject to all other Home Unions’ jurisdictions.
  • For existing agents, the introduction of the Home Unions Agents Scheme will not affect the everyday operation of the agent. If there is a disciplinary breach (whether by the agent, player or club), which Home Unions has jurisdiction will need to be determined on a case by case basis and will generally be determined based on where the defendant is based.


This board is responsible for the administration of the agent’s registration scheme and representatives from the RFU, Premiership, Championship and RPA. The ARA now has a full seat and voting rights on this board.

Association of Rugby Agents (ARA) engage Copsey Consultancy for leadership role

The Association of Rugby Agents (ARA) is delighted to confirm it has engaged the services of Copsey Consultancy to help drive the drive the future direction of the organisation.

The ARA is the representative body and collective of voice of the individuals and companies engaged in the representation of professional rugby union players in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is a non-profit unincorporated trade body, governed by its members under a constitution and is the only organisation responsible for the representation of rugby agents in the UK and Ireland.

As part of the new appointment, former Wasps and London Welsh CEO, and Copsey Consultancy Director Tony Copsey will act as interim CEO and lead the strategic review of the ARA with a focus on the development of the association, existing governance and registration issues and looking at how the ARA can work more closely with existing stakeholders within the game.

“We are delighted to have engaged the services of Tony Copsey to support the positive development of the association. The ARA was formed just over 5 years ago and we now face a period of crucial change in the governance of rugby agents and the development of our trade body.

As an association we are focused on raising the standards of agents in the UK and Ireland and making sure they are all represented and have a voice. Tony has a wealth of knowledge of the sport and we welcome him as the new interim CEO and look forward to working with him and the wider team at Copsey Consultancy.”
Mark Spoors, Chairman of ARA

“I’m really looking forward to working with the Board and the members of the ARA. The association has done an excellent job of establishing itself within the rugby fraternity since its launch and as the collective voice of all British and Irish rugby agents, has a big role to play in shaping the regulatory future of the industry. The review will define a clear strategy for the ARA as the association develops and ensure it continues to play a central role in all future matters that affects the industry and its members.”
Tony Copsey