I am very excited to be able to introduce DLA Piper's new sports podcast series, in which we will be speaking to various friends within the sports industry to discuss the latest "hot topics" within their particular sport.

In this first podcast, Nick Fitzpatrick and I speak to Angus Bujalski (Legal and Governance Director) and Stuart Tennant (Legal Counsel) at the Rugby Football Union about the upcoming World Cup, and players' use of social media.

In particular, we discuss:

  • the impact of the RFU's role effectively switching from "regulator" to "regulated" for the course of the World Cup;
  • how carve out rights can be used to give individual unions the ability to use their sponsors' logos during the World Cup (in particular around training events);
  • recent high profile instances of disciplinary action being taken against rugby players as a result of their posts on social media, including most notably Rugby Australia's decision to terminate their contract with Israel Folau; and
  • the collaborative approach that the RFU takes with clubs to educate players on the potential consequences of their use of social media posts, in order to both: (i) seek to prevent the game from being brought into disrepute; and (ii) to safeguard the game for the generation of rugby players.

We hope you enjoy it!