February 26th, 2024

Rugby Canada and players association settle on three-year labour agreement

By The Canadian Press on February 8, 2024.

Canada's Ben LeSage, right, scores a try in front of teammate Cooper Coats, left, and Belgium's Basile Poupaert during the second half of a men's 15s international rugby test match in Halifax on Saturday, July 2, 2022. Rugby Canada and the Canadian Rugby Players Association have agreed on a new three-year collective agreement. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Rugby Canada and the Canadian Rugby Players Association have agreed on a three-year collective agreement.

While details of the deal were not released, veteran back Ben LeSage called it “an important step in the right direction, giving players a voice at the table to work more closely with Rugby Canada.”

“We’re excited to continue working together to grow rugby in Canada and increase the support available to Canadian rugby players,” LeSage, the association representative for the Canadian men’s 15s team, added in a statement.

Rugby Canada CEO Nathan Bombrys called the agreement “tangible progress” towards the governing body’s goal to “provide the best possible support to our players in achieving their aspirations on and off the rugby pitch.”

Rugby Canada and the CRPA received support from the Canadian Olympic Committee and their official legal partner Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP in coming to the agreement.

Rugby Canada and its players have butted heads in the past.

Sevens players boycotted training for two months in 2018 unhappy at changes in their contracts and plans to have one centralized player pool rather than separate sevens and 15s squads. Players now move between both teams.

That dispute led the players to form an association. The deal announced Thursday is their first collective agreement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 8, 2024

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