The COVID-19 pandemic has created a plethora of legal and administrative hurdles for sport worldwide, and rugby union is no exception. Existing fault-lines have come sharply into focus, as tensions have been exacerbated between the game’s stakeholders and discontent has grown. The crises, both public health and economic, have caused disruption on a never-seen-before scale, forcing difficult decisions to be made with haste and leaving many wondering about rugby’s long-term future.
This article provides an overview of how the sport of rugby union has responded to the various legal challenges posed by COVID-19. The author’s specific knowledge of English rugby union will mean an inevitable focus on matters within that jurisdiction, but the article will seek to take a global perspective.
The following issues will be addressed in turn:
- The suspension of competition
- Employment law issues
- Player transfers
- Disciplinary sanctions
- Return to club competition
- Return to international competition
Readers can navigate between sections as they see fit.
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About the Author
Ben Cisneros graduated from Selwyn College, Cambridge, with a First in Law in 2019, and is a future trainee of Morgan Sports Law. He is an avid follower of all sport, but has a particular interest in Rugby Union. As such, Ben writes a blog called ‘Rugby and the Law’ (www.rugbyandthelaw.com), covering a wide range of sports legal matters including discipline, concussion, anti-doping and governance, as well as all manner of commercial and regulatory issues. He has also had work published in the International Sports Law Journal, and is a fluent Spanish speaker.