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'Sneaky' agents poaching players for professional league in China

By Chris Jones
PA

Fiji Rugby Union chiefs have warned that “sneaky” agents are looking for players to launch a professional league in China and are targeting the country’s players with some already preparing to fly to Beijing.

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FRU Chief Executive John O’Connor has raised serious concerns about agents or agencies trying to recruit players without registration with FRU and or with the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations as a recruitment agency as required by the Employment Relations Regulations. O’Connor said the Union believe agents have been scouting players from the Fun Flavour Super Sevens Series and selected them without proper due diligence. Those players are in camp allegedly undergoing quarantine before flying to Beijing in the coming days.

O’Connor revealed the FRU is having official discussions with the Korean Rugby Union who have indicated to run a professional rugby competition. They will be seeking the assistance of FRU to recruit players.

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O’Connor said “FRU is aware that some of the national players (men and women) have also been approached by these sneaky agents or agencies. FRU We understand there is an agent or agency from China currently in the country scouting and recruiting players for playing contracts in China. The agent or agency is neither registered as an agent with Fiji Rugby nor with the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations as a recruitment agency.”

“FRU does not recognize this agency and we are warning players to be aware of such scrupulous agents. We will also not grant international player release for any player involved with this agency if the proper process is not followed.

“We have a very good relationship with the China Rugby Union and also have a Memorandum of Understanding on areas of collaboration, and they have neither advised the FRU of any planned professional competition and likewise their desire to recruit our players to play in their competition.

“Our main interest is the welfare of the players and we are urging the players who have been approached by the agent or agencies to seek guidance from the Fiji Rugby Union through our High-Performance Unit Coaches Bill Gadolo, Kele Leawere, Iferemi Rawaqa and Sale Sorovaki. It’s always good to seek guidance and advice from those who have been through the same experience before making the final decision.

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“FRU has a Player Agents Policy and urged current and former players who are also acting as agents to register with the FRU and also follow the process of registration with the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations so there is a certain level of confidence that proper due process is followed and that the player welfare and interest is always paramount.”

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finn 6 hours ago
Why the world needs a reverse Lions tour

I think there’s a lot of reasons this wouldn’t work, but if we’re just proposing fun things how about a “World Series” held the june/july following a world cup. The teams competing each four years would be: the current world champions The Pacific Islands The British & Irish Lions The World XV Barbarians FC to ensure all teams are fairly evenly matched, the current world champions would name their squad first; then The Pacific Islands would name next, and would be able to select any pacific qualified players not selected by the world champions, including players already “captured” by non-pacific nations who would otherwise have been eligible for selection (eg. Bundee Aki); the Lions would select next; and then The World XV and Barbarians FC would be left to fight over anyone not selected. Some people will point out that 5 teams is too many for a mid-year round robin, particularly as it would be nice to have a final as well; and they would be right! But because we’re just having fun here we’re going to innovate an entirely new format for rugby, where the round robin is played in one stadium over the course of one day, with each game lasting just 40 minutes with no half time or change of ends. The round robin decides the seedings for the knockouts, which are contested by all 5 teams in one stadium over the course of one day, according to the following schedule: Knockout Round 1: seed 5 v seed 4 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Quarter Final: winner of Round 1 v seed 3 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Semi Final: winner of Quarter Final v seed 2 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Final: winner of Semi Final v seed 1 (played as a standard 80 minute rugby match) for the round robin, teams would name a 15 man starting lineup and a 16 man bench. Substitutions during games can only be made for injuries, but any number of substitutions can be made between games. The same rules apply for the finals, except that we return to having a regular 8 man bench, and would allow substitutions as normal during the 80 minute final.

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