Setting a new standard for the professional conduct of agents working with rugby players from Tonga, Fiji and Samoa, Pacific Rugby Players (PRP) new agent charter and accreditation model aims to provide peace of mind for players and families.
Striving to provide security already afforded to players in other global regions, agents who successfully complete the accreditation process will be recorded on the PRP website for players and unions to have confidence around recommending or engaging with them.
“We deal with player agent-related issues daily across the world that are both positive and negative. In years gone by, we have seen many cases of poor agent conduct that doesn’t reflect understanding of the career path for Pacific Island players or genuine care for their future and wellbeing. There are also some fantastic agents, doing a stellar job at providing opportunities and support. This huge step forward in regulation will help identify and endorse the good ones. The agents that met minimum standards of experience, skill and care for player welfare,” explains PRP CEO Aayden Clarke.
The accreditation process involves an application, submission of agent background information and an interview with an appointed PRP panel. This ground-breaking initiative has the support of the CEO’s of all three Unions, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa. “There have been concerns around former players acting as agents and influencing young players to sign contracts which we believe are not in the best interest of our academy players. We will work closely with PRP to ensure agents are registered and qualified but also, more importantly, comply with related laws in our country,” said Fiji Rugby CEO John O’Connor.
Clarke adds, “our message to all agents is that PRP provide constant and comprehensive education to young and professional players across the Pacific, and we often are the first port of call when a player wants an agent. We are creating a trusted place for unions and players to go to and this accreditation system is a positive step forward in the agent space. Eventually, we will be advocating for a shift towards the Pacific Island unions not releasing players for overseas contracts unless it’s being handled by an agent who is accredited by PRP. A move we think is best for players overall wellbeing.”