The Rugby Players Association today launched the RPA Free Agent List, which informs clubs of players availability due to them being out of contract at the end of the season. All RPA members will be able to upload their details and these will be made available through a secure server to numerous clubs including the Aviva Premiership and Greene King IPA Championship.
RPA Chairman Will James said: “We believe this is yet another step in giving our members an enhanced opportunity to secure contracts for the coming season. Last year over 60 players did not have their contracts renewed for a variety of reasons, so we see this Free Agent List as a great shop window for clubs to approach players within the 6 month window that started on January 1st. During the early season Roadshows around the Aviva Premiership clubs, this development was well received by our members, so we hope this valuable service will be of significant use for all players who find themselves out of contract at the end of this season.”
RPA Rugby Director David Barnes added: “This new service provides a clear indicator to clubs of who is out of contract at the end of the season and will therefore allow our members further opportunities to continue their career as professional rugby players.
“In a recent survey of our members regarding their ongoing wellbeing, one of the biggest spikes in players anxieties across the season is the insecurity surrounding the timing of a new contract offer. We have recently seen a trend of clubs re-signing their players earlier in the season to counter this concern, and we believe that this new service, available only to RPA members, will also encourage clubs to move earlier to re-sign players in demand, or risk those players becoming available on the open market.”