MyPlayers Annual Report 2021/2022

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THE PLAYERS’

A N N UA L 2021 | 2022



CONTENTS C H A I R P E R S O N ’ S R E P O R T .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 2 CEO’S REPORT.................................................................................................... 04 A WORD OF THANKS............................................................................................ 08 A B O U T U S .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1 O R G A N I S AT I O N A L S T R U C T U R E S & M E E T I N G AT T E N D A N C E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2 01 F I N A N C I A L OV E R V I E W .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 6 02 C O M M E R C I A L D I V I S I O N . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 7 03 I N D U S T R I A L A N D P L AY E R A F FA I R S .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 0 04 P L AY E R D E V E L O P M E N T.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 05 F I N A N C I A L S E R V I C E S .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 0 0 6 C O M M U N I C AT I O N S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 4 0 7 P L AY E R S ’ C H A R I T Y .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 8 0 8 I N T E R N AT I O N A L R U G BY P L AY E R S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 0

PUBLICATION DISCLAIMER: Please note that the content in this publication is intended for the recipient/ organisation to whom the publication is distributed. The information contained herein is not authorised to be published on any public media platform unless the prior consent of the issuer of the publication is obtained.

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CHAIRPERSON’S REPORT Jean de Villiers When I assumed the chairpersonship of MyPlayers

during the last two and a half years, and if anything,

at the end of March 2022, I mentioned that my

this crisis showed us how a collective effort can

retirement from professional rugby in 2015 actually

make everyone stronger, and because of that, we

just entailed a change of scenery. There’s no

can now look to the future with a sense of purpose,

walking away from this game, and it’s not only my

direction, and the reinforced belief that South

busted knee that reminds me of this daily.

Africans are capable of achieving great things under the most unforgiving of circumstances.

As a player, most if not all of your exposure to the industry happens where the distinct scent of

I want to commend the MyPlayers team, who did

Deep Heat is ever present. There are floodlights,

tireless work behind the scenes and also in the

flashlights, highlights, and lowlights. You’ve got

front lines to promote and preserve our players’

a job to do, and that’s where all your focus and

well-being. Isma-eel Dollie, for example, remained

energy are channelled to, as it should be.

in the Springbok bio-bubble for the full duration of the Lions series (despite having a young family at

But while players are doing the job they are paid

home), and not only did he serve the players well,

to do, and love doing, the industry’s cogs are

but also saw to it that the players’ wives, partners,

continuously turning because of the involvement

and children were made to feel settled in, looked

of various other key stakeholders, most notably

after, and appreciated. You know what they say about every successful man …

SA Rugby, the employers, MyPlayers, broadcasters, and other commercial partners. Never has this dynamic been

THANK YOU, FAFFA

better illustrated than by the

Personally, I’m stepping

South African rugby industry

into a huge pair of boots as

surviving the commercial

chairperson of MyPlayers, and

onslaught of the Covid-19

filling them won’t be easy. My

pandemic, and especially

predecessor, Faffa Knoetze,

by the fact that the British

is widely considered a sage

and Irish Lions tour went

of a man, and the wisdom

ahead despite every

and professionalism with

conceivable curveball being

which he had led the Players’

thrown at the players, team

Organisation since 2018 has

management, administrators,

created a solid platform on

and backroom staff.

which I can now contribute in a role that revolves around

There’s an old saying that goes,

the interests of South Africa’s

“Never waste a proper crisis”.

professional rugby players.

The industry was in crisis mode

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Faffa’s involvement in South African rugby has,

To understand players’ needs even better and

however, not come to an end, as he has accepted

to fulfil our mission of creating player-centred

the players’ nomination to serve on the executive

solutions to improve the lives of our members, we

council of the South African Rugby Union. Faffa,

need to move in even closer to where the rubber

we wish you well on this new journey, and I want

hits the road. That is an exciting prospect, and I

to thank you for your leadership within MyPlayers.

look forward to revisiting our efforts in our next

While this is a daunting task, you have laid a strong

Annual Report.

foundation for me to build on. Ultimately, MyPlayers’ primary mandate is to provide players with a voice and influence in the

WHAT’S NEXT FOR MYPLAYERS?

conversations and negotiations that shape our

Looking ahead to this new rugby season, MyPlayers

industry, and this role is not only fulfilled on behalf

will explore various initiatives to ensure that the

of players, but along with them. As the Players’

organisation is truly positioned as a representative

Organisation, we strive to keep our finger firmer on

of the players, by the players. Changing

the pulse and to understand the heartbeat of South

technologies, modes of communication, and social

Africa’s professional rugby players.

norms pose ever greater challenges to a company to remain relevant among its audience.

I am committed to bringing my knowledge of players and professionalism to the boardroom, and

While MyPlayers’ services and offerings are

the MyPlayers staff is committed to bringing the

comprehensive and were created with the growing

organisation to the players. The effectiveness of the

needs of professional rugby players in mind, we

organisation’s outputs will depend on its ability to

need to ensure that we continue to innovate and

harness the input of players, and our main objective

that our messages are communicated clearly and

for the year ahead will be to fortify this dynamic

effectively, as to encourage greater involvement

relationship.

and participation by our members. Currently, roughly 20 players are serving in official roles on the leadership structures of the

Sincerely

organisation, and with their help, we want to ensure that it’s not only they who have a deep

JEAN DE VILLIERS

understanding of and relationship with MyPlayers.

CHAIRPERSON: MYPLAYERS

3


CEO’S REPORT Eugene Henning For the first time in the history of the Players’

South African rugby industry was able to weather

Organisation, we’re publishing an Annual Report

the Covid-19 storm as a collective in 2020, so too

spanning over two years (January 2021 to June 2022),

did a collective effort and sacrifices enable the

and we’ve decided to do this to gradually align our

successful hosting of another Lions series.

calendar more closely with that of the Northern Hemisphere. We’re as close to a global season as

Of special significance from MyPlayers’

we’ve ever been, and in many respects, South Africa is

perspective, is a decision taken by the Springbok

a pioneer in this regard, plying our trade on both sides

players themselves while in the middle of the

of the equator.

preparatory series against Georgia. The players were occupying a “soft” bio-bubble in Rosebank

When we look back on these 18 months, it’s with

when more than 15 players and management

a sense of disbelief, but in a good way. So much

members tested positive for Covid-19. After

has been achieved, against all the odds. The British

discussing the situation among themselves, one

and Irish Lions were hosted in South Africa during

of the team leaders called us to explain how they

a turbulent time, globally and domestically. The

saw the situation: The team couldn’t train at that

Covid-19 pandemic forced our franchises and national

time, and if another outbreak happened, the Lions

teams to play in empty stadiums, and during the

tour would surely be cancelled. Over the next two

same time, political unrest, looting, and violence

days, starting the following morning, more than 70

erupted in city streets. Yet,

wives, partners, and children

the series was concluded, and

had been scheduled to join the

the Springboks followed in the

players and management in

footsteps of the Class of 2009

their hotel, which the players

by beating the Lions 2-1. Talking

felt posed a further health risk

about footsteps – the golden

to the team and ultimately the

boot of Morné Steyn had a

Lions tour.

significant impact on the result of consecutive Lions tours, and

Hence, they approached

amidst all the drama, it was

the Bok management and

again rugby that restored hope

requested them to institute a

and some normality to a world

hard bubble with immediate

that had otherwise been turned

effect, which the Bok

on its head.

management agreed to. In addition, the players requested

I want to commend the

that anyone who wanted to

players, team management,

enter the hard bubble had to

executives, administrators, and

isolate in a dedicated hotel

all stakeholders who made the

for a minimum period of 7

Lions tour possible. Just as the

days. This meant the players’

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and management’s families had to be rerouted

It was also heartening to see how certain players

overnight to Cape Town, where they would have to

matured during the URC, before taking their form to

isolate on their own until the Springbok squad was

the most recent International Inbound Series against

able to join them.

Wales, which the Springboks also won. Managing squads and developing squad depth are challenges

However difficult this self-imposed stricter bio-

that most teams still need to come to grips with,

bubble was on everyone, the players were clear

but regardless of the growth pains we are having

about the reasons for requesting this: They wanted

to endure while finding our feet in the Northern

to ensure that South African rugby will reap

Hemisphere, there can be no doubt that this has

the commercial benefits that such a tour offers;

been a successful year for South African teams.

ensure that they indeed get the opportunity to play against the British & Irish Lions, and to give

A SEASON OF PLEASANT SURPRISES

themselves the best shot from a preparatory point

Locally, the season was also full of surprises, and

of view at beating the visitors.

none more so and well deserved than the Pumas claiming their first ever Currie Cup title against a

By the start of the Rugby Championship in

Griquas side that never had any other objective

Australia, the Springbok players and management

than lifting the trophy for the first time in 52 years.

had been in bio-bubbles for twelve weeks,

While our franchises made their mark in Europe, our

much of it being a hard bubble. Everyone in that

domestic sides stepped up to claim their moment

Springbok family deserves credit for the decisions

of glory. It was beautiful to behold. Having the

and sacrifices they made that did not only save

Currie Cup First Division back on the calendar was

the local industry financially, but also gave South

also great, and we want to congratulate the Griffons

Africans a reason to smile again. I don’t think

for being victorious in the final. Also, the Border

these few paragraphs do justice to the brave and

Ladies team confirmed their position as South

extremely difficult decisions that were taken within

Africa’s premier woman’s fifteens team by claiming

the Springbok camp during that time, but I want

back-to-back interprovincial titles.

to make clear that their commitment and sacrifices had a far bigger impact on rugby and South Africa

Then there are the Blitzboks, Springbok Women’s

than they might ever realise. Thank you for that!

team, as well as the Junior Boks who all returned to action under challenging global circumstances, all

UNITED RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP

carrying the South African flag with aplomb.

Another highlight from the past year is how quickly our franchises found their feet in the United

A NEW DEAL

Rugby Championship. After a wobbly start to our

I want to return backstage for a moment, where

official entry into the revamped competition, we

a significant development also took place from a

ended up having three teams in the play-offs, and

commercial perspective. SA Rugby and MyPlayers

importantly, two sides in the final. Had you asked

agreed on a new players commercial-rights model in

any reasonably knowledgeable person at the start

2022, moving away from an annual fixed-payment

of the season whether a South African team would

system to a profit-share model. This is a clear

win the competition, they would likely have said no.

acknowledgement of our players’ contributions to the

And yet, here we are, looking back on a spectacular

industry’s commercial appeal and growth, and I believe

URC final between the Stormers and Bulls, hosted

this new model will have a meaningful impact on the

in Cape Town.

way players share in the industry’s commercial upside.

5


INTERNAL GOVERNANCE From a governance point of view, I once again want to thank our former chairperson, Faffa Knoetze, for his remarkable and clear-headed leadership during a turbulent time for the industry. It was an honour working alongside you, and on behalf of the players, we want to thank you and also wish you well during your term on SA Rugby’s Executive Committee. Former Springbok captain Jean de Villiers accepted the offer to succeed Faffa as chairperson of MyPlayers, and on behalf of the board, staff, and players, it is a pleasure to welcome him back to the Players’ Organisation. This year also saw another rotation of leadership within the organisation after SARPA president Chris van Zyl retired from rugby. He was replaced by a fellow Stormers lock, Marvin Orie, and while we thank Chris for his expertise and commitment to the labour union, we want to welcome and thank Marvin for agreeing to serve the game beyond the playing field. Lastly, I want to thank the MyPlayers staff who often performed thankless tasks under trying circumstances. Without you, MyPlayers cannot function on a day-to-day basis, and even during the most trying times over the past 18 months, I have never had to worry about the ability of the backroom staff to keep our wheels in motion. The players are served by a dedicated team of professionals, and because of you, we can execute our mission of providing player-driven solutions to improve the lives of our members.

EUGENE HENNING CEO: MYPLAYERS

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7


A WORD OF THANKS TO T H E P L AY E R S

TO T H E I N D U S T RY

As we conclude this reporting cycle, we can look back

In MyPlayers’ Annual Report 2020, we acknowledged

on 18 months of rugby that was certainly challenging,

the collective effort of key stakeholders to see the

but went ahead against all odds. The Springboks were

industry through its most challenging year since the

victors against the British & Irish Lions; the Blitzboks

game entered the professional era. Now, 18 months

took the world by storm, recording a winning streak

on, we want to thank you again. While the industry is

of 36 matches; the Bulls successfully defended

not out of the commercial woods yet, we are still here,

their 2020/2021 Currie Cup title in 2021, before the

with plenty of recent successes to show for this joint

Pumas surprised everyone but themselves to lift the

effort. Thank you to SARU, SAREO, SEU, and every

trophy in 2022; and the Stormers were crowned the

individual who brought us to this point.

first champions of the United Rugby Championship. We must also mention the Border Ladies side who

TO T H E FA N S

won back-to-back interprovincial titles, the Junior Springboks who were victorious in the 6 Nations Summer Series, as well as the Currie Cup First Division

Any rugby player will tell you that it’s immeasurably

sides, especially Griffons, who returned to the playing

more enjoyable to play in front of fans, and while

field determined and hungry to do what they love.

this wasn’t possible for almost two years, we want to

Rugby only started resembling business as usual

thank rugby fans for their support and patience during

during the Welsh inbound tour in 2022 when fans

the Covid-19 pandemic. You’re not just spectators, but

were allowed to fill our stadiums again. Before

as much part of the game as the ball itself. The players

that, sacrifices and different forms or discomfort

missed you!

and disruption where the order of the day, and as MyPlayers, we want to thank players for their perseverance during this time and for remaining givers of hope and entertainment in South Africa. None of the successes over the past year and a half would have been possible had it not been for our players who remained professional, dedicated, and eager to entertain (and win!) on the rugby field.

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TO O U R B E N E F I T PA R T N E R S A N D S P O N S O R S The Players’ Organisation is fortunate to have partners

conclude this reporting cycle. To those whose

– both benefit partners to our members, as well as

agreements with MyPlayers have already concluded,

sponsors – who continue to enhance the service and

we thank you as well. In this regard, a special word

product offerings we can extend to our players.

of thanks is reserved for BrightRock, who served as

We want to express our gratitude to the following

a wonderful events partner for the MyPlayers Awards

partners, who are still part of the family as we now

from 2017 to 2021.

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10 10


ABOUT US WHO WE ARE

OUR PURPOSE We believe rugby is more than just

MyPlayers is the players’ organisation that represents the

a game

collective interests of all the professional rugby players in South Africa.

OUR MISSION

The Players’ Organisation was founded in 1998 by the

We provide player-driven solutions to

players themselves when a need arose for collective

improve the lives of our members

representation during the early years of professionalism

OUR VALUES

in rugby union. Today, we represent more than 500 professional rugby players. The organisation is 100%

RESPECT

owned by the players, who serve on various leadership

For ourselves and the players we serve

structures within the organisation. These include the MyPlayers Board, Players’ Trust, the SARPA (labour

LOYALTY

division) Executive Committee, and the Provincial

We serve and work for the players

Player Representative Group. The various leadership structures determine the vision and mission of the

ACCOMMODATION

Players’ Organisation.

Accommodate players at all cost and benefit to them

INTEGRITY

O U R FO C U S ¼

Underpins everything we are and do

Protect and manage the collective intellectual property rights of the professional rugby players.

¼

CONTACT DETAILS

Assist players with career advice and personal development opportunities, while preparing

¼

them for life outside of rugby.

+27 66 307 5474 info@my-players.com

Provide assistance and advice to the players on

www.myplayers.co.za

all their industrial matters. OFFICE HOURS ¼

Monday – Friday: 09:00 – 17:00

Manage and administrate the core financial services requirements of the players.

ADDRESS ¼

Represent players on the various bodies such as

MyPlayers (Pty) Ltd.

the SARU Executive committee and the IRP board.

Ground Floor, Table Bay Building, Tygerberg Office Park

¼

Act as a constructive stakeholder in the South

163 Uys Krige Drive, Plattekloof,

African rugby landscape to assist in growing the

Cape Town, South Africa

game and making it stronger.

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O R GA N I SAT I O N A L STRUCTURE T H E M Y P L AY E R S B O A R D

JEAN DE VILLIERS

EUGENE HENNING

PAT LAMBIE

TEBOHO ‘OUPA’ MOHOJÉ

CHAIR

CEO

NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

ZENAY JORDAAN

SIVIWE SOYIZWAPI

MARVIN ORIE

NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

T H E M Y P L AY E R S T E A M

EUGENE HENNING

MANDISI TSHONTI

ISMA-EEL DOLLIE

HILANA CLAASSENS

MARCO BOTHA

CEO

GENERAL MANAGER: PLAYER AFFAIRS

NATIONAL PLAYER AFFAIRS MANAGER

NATIONAL PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

RÉGHANA HARNEKER

DAVID DE VILLIERS

HELGA ESAU

WELMARIE VAN DER SPUY

TRACEY CABLE

GENERAL MANAGER: LEGAL, GOVERNANCE AND COMPLIANCE

GENERAL MANAGER: FINANCIAL SERVICES

FINANCE MANAGER

SENIOR FINANCIAL MANAGER

OFFICE MANAGER

12 12


P R OV I N C I A L P L AY E R R E P R E S E N TAT I V E S

STEDMAN GANS

THURLOW MARSH

CRAIG BARRY

GARRICK MATTHEUS

GODFREY RAMABOEA

BLUE BULLS

BOLAND

CHEETAHS

EASTERN PROVINCE

FALCONS

THATO MAVUNDLA

ANDREW BEERWINKEL

HP SWART

REINHARD NOTHNAGEL

FRANCOIS KLEINHANS

GRIFFONS

GRIQUAS

LEOPARDS

LIONS

PUMAS

WERNER KOK

ADRI JACOBS

ERNST VAN RHYN

IMPI VISSER

ZENAY JORDAAN

SHARKS

SWD EAGLES

WESTERN PROVINCE

SPRINGBOK MEN’S SEVENS

SPRINGBOK WOMEN’S SEVENS

MEMBERS WHO HAVE ALSO SERVED DURING THE REPORTING PERIOD: IVAN VAN ZYL

WILLIAM SMALL-SMITH

ROSS CRONJÉ

MARQUIT SEPTEMBER

BLUE BULLS

CHEETAHS

LIONS

SWD EAGLES

BILLY DUTTON

EDERIES ARENDSE

JOHNY MEYER

CHRIS VAN ZYL

BORDER

GRIQUAS

SHARKS

WESTERN PROVINCE

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S A R PA E X EC U T I V E C O M M I T T E E

MANDISI TSHONTI

MARVIN ORIE

TEBOHO ‘OUPA’ MOHOJÉ

GENERAL SECRETARY

PRESIDENT

VICE-PRESIDENT

LIZO GQOBOKA

THOMAS DU TOIT

FRANS STEYN

SIVIWE SOYIZWAPI

ZENAY JORDAAN

CRAIG BARRY

MEMBERS WHO HAVE ALSO SERVED DURING THE REPORTING PERIOD: CHRIS VAN ZYL

PIETER-STEPH DU TOIT

FRANCOIS KLEINHANS

T R U S T E E S O F T H E P L AY E R S’ T R U S T

EUGENE HENNING

SIVIWE SOYIZWAPI

THOMAS DU TOIT

TEBOHO ‘OUPA’ MOHOJÉ

IMPI VISSER

FRANS MALHERBE

MEMBERS WHO HAVE ALSO SERVED DURING THE REPORTING PERIOD: IVAN VAN ZYL

ROSS CRONJÉ

14 14


M E E T I N G AT T E N DA N C E MYPLAYERS BOARD 2021

2022

BOARD MEMBER

31 Mar

14 Jul

13 Oct

09 Dec

BOARD MEMBER

13 Apr

Faffa Knoetze

4

4

4

4

Faffa Knoetze

4

Eugene Henning

4

4

4

4

Jean de Villiers

4

John Smit

4

8

4

4

Eugene Henning

4

Patrick Lambie

4

4

4

4

Patrick Lambie

4

Zenay Jordaan

4

4

4

4

Zenay Jordaan

4

Teboho ‘Oupa’ Mohojé

4

4

8

4

Teboho ‘Oupa’ Mohojé

8

Siviwe Soyizwapi

8

8

8

4

Siviwe Soyizwapi

8

07 Jul

05 Oct

07 Dec

SARPA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 2021

2022

EXCO MEMBER

01 Apr

19 May

23 Jul

27 Oct

Chris Van Zyl

4

Pieter-Steph duToit

09 Dec

8

8

8

4

Marvin Orie (President)

4

8

4

4

4

Teboho ‘Oupa’ Mohojé (Vice-president)

8

4

8

4

4

Thomas du Toit

4

4

Thomas du Toit

4

8

4

8

4

Siviwe Soyizwapi

4

4

EXCO MEMBER

04 Feb

14 Apr

Marvin Orie (President)

4

4

Teboho ‘Oupa’ Mohojé (Vice-president)

8

4

Craig Barry

4

4

Siviwe Soyizwapi

8

4

8

8

4

Zenay Jordaan

4

4

Zenay Jordaan

4

4

4

4

4

Lizo Gqoboka

4

8

Lizo Gqoboka

4

4

4

8

4

Frans Steyn

4

8

Francois Kleinhans

4

4

8

4

4

Francois Kleinhans

4

4

15

07 Jul

06 Oct

07 Dec


01 OUR INCOME IS DERIVED FROM

FINANCIAL OVERVIEW BREAKDOWN OF OPERATIONAL COSTS

¼ Investments

27% Board, finances and

¼ Financial services

administrative costs

¼ Licensing programmes ¼ Membership fees ¼ Sponsorships ¼ Collective commercial rights

20% Commercial

REVENUE ALLOCATION

7%

Legal and marketing events

8%

30%*

Financial services

12%

Player Development Programme

Revenue towards operations

*

Higher than normal due to lower revenues as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on industry.

6% Industrial (SARPA)

70%

Player affairs

Distributed to the players

Brand and communications

16 16

16% 4%


02

COMMERCIAL DIVISION

This division is primarily responsible for overseeing

ensures that the players receive the appropriate

and managing the collective commercial rights

remuneration for the use of their commercial rights.

of the players.

The Players’ Organisation also ensures that the usage of rights is available for commercialisation

MyPlayers oversees and manages the Players’ Trust,

within the industry and that external parties receive

which secures the collective commercial rights of

prior consent from the Players’ Trust when using

the professional rugby players in South Africa and

these rights.

NEW COMMERCIAL-RIGHTS AGREEMENT FOR PLAYERS (2022 – 2024) In April 2022, MyPlayers announced to its members

This new agreement represents two significant

that the Players’ Organisation and SA Rugby had

developments from the previous deal:

just signed off on a new players commercial1.

rights agreement for the period 2022 to 2024. This

While the previous deal entailed an annual

agreement determines how players’ commercial

fixed-fee payment from SA Rugby to MyPlayers,

rights (such as their name, image, voice, biological

the new agreement will take the form of a profit-

information, etc.) may be used by the industry

share model.

for purposes of multimedia broadcasting and 2.

sponsorships.

Under the previous agreement, approximately 6% of SA Rugby’s annual revenues were paid to the players for the use of their commercial rights. Under the new agreement, this payment has been increased from 6% to roughly 8%, representing a total increase of approximately 33%.

17


THE 2021/2022 COLLECTIVE COMMERCIAL DISTRIBUTIONS TO PLAYERS 667

A total of 677 players received payments for the use of their rights by the South African rugby industry for commercial gain (number includes sevens players).

NATIONAL PLAYERS R21,2m

was distributed between the Springboks and the Blitzboks.

SPRINGBOKS TOTAL DISTRIBUTIONS PAID:

BLITZBOKS

R17,8m

TOTAL DISTRIBUTIONS PAID: R3,4m

MATCHES

TOURNAMENTS

R34 867 per player per match if part of the

R18 795 per player per tournament played

Springbok Test-day team

in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series

APPEARANCES

SQUAD

R21 326 per player for an appearance

R74 042 per player in the senior national

performed while in the Springbok squad (includes

squad for six months or longer

appearances for MyPlayers)

PROVINCIAL PLAYERS R14.3m

was distributed to the provincial players.

MATCHES

R4 719 per player per Super Rugby/SA-A/

R1 888 per player per Currie Cup First

Pro16/URC match

Division match

R2 831 per player per Currie Cup Premier

R1 227 per player per provincial

Division match

appearance

18 18


COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT Each year, MyPlayers forms commercial partnerships with external third parties to develop licensing products and programmes. These programmes are made up of player products or campaigns in which the overall objective is to promote the collective interest of the players within the market. Ultimately, players receive a collective share of the royalties earned through these products and programmes.

AGAINST ALL ODDS: The British & Irish Lions Tour of South Africa, 2021 (The Official Commemorative Book) Following the British & Irish Lions

an insider’s account of the

Tour of South Africa in 2021,

goings on behind the scenes

SuperSport commentator, Matthew

that made the tour possible in

Pearce, and Burnet Media produced

a time of great historical and

the official commemorative book,

societal uncertainty; including

providing an insider’s account of

the logistics of making a tour

a tour that went ahead against all

happen during the third wave of

odds. The book was sanctioned

the Covid-19 pandemic in South

and licensed by MyPlayers, SA

Africa, and life in the bubble for

Rugby, and The British & Irish Lions.

players, organisers and media; with exclusive behind-the-

“The story behind the story

scenes photography.”

– a true tale against all odds,

OT H E R C O M M E R C I A L D E A L S TRUBLU ENTERTAINMENT: Computer or platform-based interactive game

EGO AMO POSTERS: Full-colour team and individual player posters

19

WINNING MOVES: Monopoly board game; Top-trump card game; playing cards


03

I N D U S T R I A L & P L AY E R A F FA I R S D I V I S I O N

I N D U S T R I A L A F FA I R S

The South African Rugby Players Association (SARPA) is the registered trade union for all the professional rugby players in South Africa, which enables this division of MyPlayers to look after players’ collective employment matters on a provincial and national level.

K E Y E V E N T S I N 202 1 /2022 New SARPA President

and clarity in the industry as a whole, as separate

Marvin Orie succeeded Chris van

Collective Bargaining Agreements used to be

Zyl as president of SARPA. Van

negotiated with SARU and SAREO, respectively.

Zyl, a Currie Cup-winning lock,

Springbok Women’s Remuneration Agreement (World Cup 2022)

captain of Western Province, and senior member of the Stormers squad, retired in April 2021. Orie matriculated at

In 2021, SARPA and SARU entered into a four-year

Tygerberg High School before joining the Blue Bulls

agreement, covering the remuneration of Springbok

as a junior player. He also represented the Lions and

Women’s players. This is the first agreement of this

Ospreys before joining Western Province and the

nature, specifically aimed at advancing the women’s

Stormers at the beginning of the 2021 season. He

game in South Africa. Included in this agreement

made his debut for the Springboks against Wales in

are selection fees for RWC 2022, match fees, as well

2018.

as winning bonuses.

The South African Rugby Industry Collective Agreement (SARICA)

THE FOLLOWING AGREEMENTS WERE REVIEWED AND/OR CONCLUDED DURING 2021/2022

For the first time in the history of professional rugby

¼

SARICA (detailed above)

in South Africa, the three key stakeholders – SARU

¼

Springbok Women’s Remuneration Agreement

(South African Rugby Union), SARPA, and SAREO (South African Rugby Employers’ Organisation) –

¼

Carling Champions Match Remuneration Agreement

drafted and signed a single collective agreement. The SARICA stipulates the terms, conditions and

¼

2021 Rugby World Cup Bonuses

details of both national and provincial contracts and

¼

2023 Rugby World Cup Remuneration Agreement

regulates the relationship between the members of SAREO, SARU and SARPA. It has as one of its many

¼

7s World Cup Agreement (for both Men and Women)

advantages the benefit of improving transparency

20 20


P L AY E R A F FA I R S This division is responsible for building and maintaining strong and proficient relationships between the organisation and the players. They endeavour to keep players informed about the latest developments within the organisation and industry.

202 1 /2022 I N R E V I E W PLAYER ROADSHOW AND VISITS

The Roadshow presentations covered:

In a welcome return to normality, the MyPlayers

¼

MyPlayers: Who we are and what we do

roadshow and union visits were again conducted in-person during the first quarter of 2022. Due to the

¼

Benefits of being a member

Covid-19 pandemic, these interactions were limited

¼

Pension Fund feedback

to Zoom meetings in 2020 and 2021. MyPlayers’ in-

¼

Agents

house jetsetter and National Player Affairs Manager,

¼

Legal representation for doping and on- and off-field disciplinary hearings

Isma-eel Dollie, used this opportunity to officially onboard development players as members of the

¼

POPI Act implications for membership and communications

Players’ Organisation, while all players were briefed on player-related matters, giving them the opportunity to discuss areas of concern or interest.

21


MEMBERSHIP COVERAGE LEVELS For a player to receive the services and

CRAVEN WEEK ROADSHOW AND CAPTAINS’ DINNER

membership benefits provided by MyPlayers, they

With the South African Youth Rugby Weeks back on

SARPA through the Player Affairs division.

need to sign up for membership of MyPlayers and

the local calendar in 2022, Isma-eel Dollie represented MyPlayers during the Under-18 Craven Week, hosted

MYPLAYERS IS CURRENTLY REPRESENTING* * Numbers as of MAY 2022

by Rondebosch Boys’ High School. Besides interacting with players, coaches, parents, and dignitaries, the annual Captains’ Dinner was also revived. This presents the first opportunity to introduce high-school players to the Players’ Organisation. In 2022, Springbok hooker Scarra Ntubeni and former Western Province

747

546

PROFESSIONAL RUGBY PLAYERS

SENIOR PLAYERS

Craven Week captain and SuperSport commentator, Ricky Schroeder, delivered motivational messages and perspectives on what a career in rugby entails.

201 DEVELOPMENT PLAYERS

PLAYERS HAVE ACCESS TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION FOR THE FOLLOWING: DOPING

MANDATORY CONCUSSION EDUCATION

The annual roadshows to the different unions

In 2021, SA Rugby implemented World Rugby’s

provided the organisation with the platform to

compulsory Online Concussion Education and Online

create awareness amongst the players on doping

Concussion Advice programmes as a requisite to the

and the negative consequences if they test positive.

professional game’s Player Welfare Standards. Players

The organisation provides players who tested

and team management are required to complete

positive for banned substances with legal

these online modules at least once every two years,

representation during their hearing as it forms part

and players are also expected to download the World

of the membership benefits.

Rugby Concussion Management App to their phones.

¼

In 2021/2022, 0 players were represented in

In support of these initiatives, MyPlayers continuously

doping-related hearings.

reinforces the importance of concussion education to its members through electronic and in-person channels of communication.

ON-FIELD CITINGS AND DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS As part of a player’s membership benefits, MyPlayers provides them with legal representation when they face disciplinary hearings at their union or when they receive an on-field citing such as red or yellow cards during a match. ¼

In 2021/2022, MyPlayers represented 18 players during on-field disciplinary hearings.

22 22


23


04

P L AY E R DEVELOPMENT

This division tends to the holistic development of MyPlayers’ members and is responsible for the implementation of the National Player Development Programme at the various franchises. Hilana Claassens, MyPlayers National Player Development Manager, leads a core team of six Player Development Managers (PDMs), stationed at different teams across South Africa.

P L AY E R D E V E LO P M E N T M A N A G E R S

HILANA CLAASSENS

SALLY JOUBERT

HENDY SEERANE

hilana@my-players.com

sally@my-players.com

hendy@my-players.com

+27 71 470 4901

+27 81 305 8675

+27 72 631 1269

Domestic and Non-Franchises

PIETER VAN ZYL*

GERHARD OLIVIER*

* Served during reporting

* Served during reporting

period; no longer with MyPlayers

period; no longer with MyPlayers

KIRSTEN VAN HEERDEN

24 24

ANINA COETZEE

kirsten@my-players.com

anina@my-players.com

+27 84 800 3322

+27 82 454 1770


1.

P E R S O N A L M A S T E RY

Through personal mastery, MyPlayers wants to ensure that each senior player has a game plan ready for life outside of rugby. One-on-sessions were scheduled with players where a personal development plan was drafted by exploring different facets of well-being. To ensure holistic development, the following areas are typically looked at:

EDUCATION

CAREER

FINANCE

RUGBY HOLISTIC DEVELOPMENT

HEALTH

IDENTITY

FUN

WELL-BEING

ONE-ON-ONE INTERACTIONS (JANUARY 2021 TO JUNE 2022)

6 135

186

610

WHATSAPP CONVERSATIONS

PHONE CALLS

ONE-ON-ONE SESSIONS (45 TO 60 MINUTES PER PLAYER)

25


2 . C A R E E R A N D E D U C AT I O N The MyPlayers bursary programme was established in 2016, and players’ studies are funded and monitored by the Players’ Organisation. The aim is to help players develop and excel in other facets of life. By providing an opportunity for players to further their education, MyPlayers also ensures that they are equipped for life after retirement from rugby.

THE 2021 RECIPIENTS Luther Obi

LLB

Craig Barry

Sports Management: Business Principles in Sport

Rhyno Smith

LLB

UNISA

Salmaan Moerat

BBA

Milpark Business School

Stedman Gans

Degree in Social Science, majoring in Psychology and Human Resource Management

SACAP

Ben-Jason Dixon

BEng (Industrial Engineering)

Stellenbosch University

Kevin Kaba

Financial Accounting

UNISA

Luigy van Jaarsveld

National Diploma: Fitness (Sport Conditioning)

ETA College

Raegan Oranje

Sports Management: Business Principles in Sport/ Silver Personal Training package

University of Cape Town/ Trifitness Academy

Vincent Maroping

BCom (Marketing Management)

Boston City College

Daniel Kasende

Property development and investment

UCT

Zintle Mpupha

Sports massage

EDUept on behalf of ETA College

Kudzwai Dube

Bachelor of accounting sciences in financial accounting

UNISA

Devon Williams

BA (Development and Environment)

UNISA

Nama Xaba

BSc (Land Surveying)

UCT

Sazi Sandi

BA

UNISA

Johan Grobbelaar

BCom (Business Management)

Akademia

Tiaan Pretorius

Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

University of Stellenbosch

UNISA

26 26

GetSmarter


THE 2022 RECIPIENTS Zintle Mpupha

BSc (Strength and Conditioning)

Setanta

Vincent Marupeng

BCom (Marketing Management)

Boston City Campus

Raegan Oranje

Personal Training

Trifocus

Luther Obi

LLB

UNISA

Chad Solomon

Postgraduate Diploma (Business Administration)

Milpark Business School

Andisa Ntsila

Environmental Management

NOSA

Craig Barry

BA (Community Development)

UNISA

Paschal Ekeji

BAgric

Stellenbosch University

Lusanda Dumke

Public Administration

CPUT

Lindelwa Gwala

BSc (Strength and Conditioning)

Setanta

Edward Davids

Higher Certificate (Marketing)

UNISA

Mervano da Silva

Web development

Hyperiondev

Keketso Morabe

BSc (Strength and Conditioning)

Setanta

Johan Grobbelaar

BCom (Business Management)

Akademia

Tiaan Pretorius

Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

Stellenbosch University

Lohan Potgieter

BCom (Investment Management and Banking)

UFS

Renier Viljoen

BAgric

UFS

Tiaan Pretorius

Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

University of Stellenbosch

CAREER GUIDANCE

LEARNING ON THE JOB

Players can request career guidance which entails online psychometric assessments, after which they

In 2022, Blitzbok Ryan Oosthuizen infused his final

are provided with an integrated findings report about

year of law studies with some practical experience

possible career paths. The findings of the report are

when MyPlayers arranged a job-shadowing

also discussed with the players individually.

opportunity for him at renowned law firm

Webber Wentzel.

73 players received career guidance in 2021/2022

Group sessions ¼

MyPlayers Bursary Programme

¼

Career pathways

27


EDUCATIONAL BENEFIT PARTNERS

3. VULNERABILITIES Group sessions were arranged with players to create awareness about day-to-day vulnerabilities they might face. Sessions included:

KNOW YOUR WORLD

ANTI-DOPING

MATCH KIT

The player development managers

The aim of these sessions, hosted

In 2022, MatchKit approached

(PDMs) presented on the topic

by the South African Institute for

MyPlayers with an exciting offer

of understanding the rugby

Drug-Free Sports (SAIDS), was to

through which players could

world, the platform they were

create awareness amongst players

better commercialise their careers

given as well as the opportunities

about banned substances and the

via a consolidated online platform.

and pitfalls which form part of a

consequences of the use thereof.

A mobile web-builder would

professional rugby career.

SAIDS informed players about the

enable players to create their

most up-to-date list of banned

own profile, showcasing their

substances and also, through

professional off-field credentials,

which channels they can seek

the breakdown of their online

assistance or report any doping

audience, have an online store, a

activities.

crowdfunding facility, as well as access to an education platform on their dashboard to learn more about personal branding and offfield revenue creation.

28 28


4 . M E N TA L H E A LT H

5. LIFE SKILLS

Players have access to their own 24/7 well-being

Life skills sessions were facilitated and arranged

helpline. The service is conducted on an anonymous

with players on a senior and junior level to ensure

basis,and gives players access to over 20 qualified

that they deal effectively with the demands and

psychologists around the country.

challenges of everyday life.

As part of the players’ MyPlayers membership benefits, they receive four free consultations with

Group sessions

psychologists to be used when they are battling to

¼

The monk who sold his Ferrari

cope with acute stress, anxiety, depression or any

¼

My personal financial plan (with GraySwan)

well-being-related issues. 25: Number of sessions with psychologists in 2021

¼

Tax me if you can (BDO)

(up from nine in 2020)

¼

Time management and SMART goals

¼

Creating a CV

Group sessions ¼

Finding Flow in Life and Rugby

¼

What are you good at? Understanding your signature strengths

29


05

FINANCIAL SERVICES

This division provides and assists with independent advice on the core group financial products available to South Africa’s professional rugby players. Product development, reviews, day-to-day administration and the management of these products form part of this function within the organisation. MyPlayers Financial Services has been up and running since 2014, and it has shown tremendous growth and expansion in the services offered to players.

K E Y I N I T I AT I V E S I N 202 1 /2022 NEW FINANCIAL AND TAX-ADVISORY PANELS Professional athletes are often so consumed by their immediate environment, earnings and goals that other critical aspects of their private lives get pushed back on the list of priorities. MyPlayers identified financial literacy and planning as neglected categories. Hence, in March 2021, we closed this gap by establishing a Financial and a Tax Advisory Panel consisting of experts in each field from 11 established and respected financial and auditing services companies. A dedicated landing page was created that enables each player to select and develop their own “team” of professionals that can assist them immediately after becoming a member of the Players’ Organisation.

ENHANCED MYNUMBERS APP PLATFORM The MyNumbers platform on the MyPlayers App underwent considerable enhancements in 2022. This tab now serves as a comprehensive, userfriendly and visually attractive platform where players can access information related to all MyPlayers Financial Services’ offerings, from general information to personal statements. Players are also able to upload documents to enhance communication and processing of requests. The improved design template can in due course be replicated across the app.

30 30


THE PLAYERS’ CORE FINANCIAL PRODUCTS FOR 2021/2022 IN REVIEW JULY 2021 TO JUNE 2022 THE PLAYERS’ PENSION FUND

INJURY BENEFIT

The professional rugby players have their own This benefit is set up to protect the players’ income

retirement savings mechanism – the Players’ Pension

while they are unable to play rugby for a certain period

Fund – towards which they contribute monthly. This

due to an injury, illness or accident.

fund allows the players to benefit from additional tax deductions on contributions, performance reviews and a lower investment cost structure.

STATISTICS

635

STATISTICS

127

Approximate

Number of serious

number of players

injuries in 2021/2022

614

R53 m

covered by the

(> 3 months

Players who

Total approximate

injury benefit

rehabilitation period)

contribute to

contribution to

the Players’

Players’ Pension

Pension Fund

Fund in 2021

56

7 months

Number of injuries

Average rehabilitation

R264 m

covered through

period for

Total Players’ Pension Fund value as of

injury insurance

serious injuries

March 2022

The players appointed independent

MEDICAL AID AND GAP COVER

investment specialist GraySwan to analyse and review the performance and cost

All of South Africa’s professional rugby players must

of the Players’ Fund during 2022. In addition to

be a member of a medical aid scheme and gap cover

this, the Players’ Pension Fund’s structure and

before they are allowed to participate in a professional

administration were also reviewed and were found

rugby competition (and training) at their respective

to still be the optimal and most cost-effective pre-

employers. Over the years, MyPlayers has built strong

tax savings model for professional rugby players.

relationships with various service providers and has negotiated no underwriting requirements and free concessions for the players.

i

STATISTICS

As the appointed specialist advisor, SIMEKA Health continues to provide the players with advice regarding which schemes would be best suited for them as professional rugby players as well as for their individual needs.

307

512

Approximate number

Approximate number

of players advised in

of players on gap cover

2021/2022 on medical-

in 2021/2022

aid selection

31


SHORT-TERM INSURANCE

FINANCIAL SECTOR CONDUCT AUTHORITY (FSCA)

MyPlayers is still providing professional rugby players

The MyPlayers Financial Services division is an

with a short-term insurance benefit. In partnership

authorised financial services provider with the

with Santam, the short-term insurance solutions

Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSP46999).

are tailored to each player’s unique needs and requirements.

For any comments or complaints about our

Players are covered in the event of losses of personal

service, members are invited to contact us on

belongings suffered due to:

comments@my-players.com. We also provide contact details for the FAIS Ombud:

¼

Burglary or theft

¼

Damage or accidents

¼

Natural disasters

PHYSICAL ADDRESS: 2nd Floor Orange Building

Players are encouraged to make use of this short-

Kasteel Park Office Park

term insurance offering by contacting Santam directly

Cnr of Nossob and Jochemus Streets

through communication channels set up specifically

Erasmuskloof, Pretoria

for the use of MyPlayers members. +27 12 762 5000 / +27 12 470 9080 +27 12 470 9097 / +27 12 348 3447 P.O. Box 74571, Lynwood Ridge, 0040 info@faisombud.co.za www.faisombud.co.za

32 32


33


06 6

C O M M U N I C AT I O N S

The Communications division ensures effective

Championship, MyPlayers has revised the publication

two-way communication between MyPlayers, the

dates of some of its publications to gradually align

players, industry stakeholders, other stakeholders

itself with the Northern hemisphere’s rugby calendar.

and the public. It is also responsible for managing the

This, along with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic

organisation’s digital communications platforms.

on the 2020 rugby schedule, has influenced the

As a result of South Africa’s formal entry into

hosting dates of the MyPlayers Awards event in 2021

European rugby competitions via the United Rugby

and 2022.

202 1 /2022 C O M M U N I C AT I O N S OV E R V I E W PLAYERS’ MAGAZINE In 2021, MyPlayers published its digital Players’ Magazine in June and December. The first issue for 2022 is scheduled for August and will be referenced in the next reporting cycle. JUNE 2021 THEME: WISDOM OF THE SAGES ARTICLES:

PLUS

RUGBY FINANCE 101

PLAYER LOAD: THIS AIN’T CRICKET

yers.co.za www.mypla

THE STEPHEN NELL COLUMN

¼

Rugby Finances 101 by Marco Botha

¼

Player load by Marco Botha & South African Cricketers’ Association

¼

Living in a bio-bubble by Sango Xamlashe

¼

Reflections on a career ended by injury by AJ le Roux

¼

Five things few junior players believe by William Small-Smith

¼

My 6 secrets to success in professional rugby by Julian Redelinghuys

¼

Forged by Age and Fire by Handré Pollard

¼

Advice to my younger self by Francois Louw

¼

6 Things that are always true in pro rugby by Stephen Nell

¼

Lights, camera, and lots of action by Zenay Jordaan

¼

Recipients of 2021 MyPlayers bursaries

¼

Financial Services Player Benefits

34 34


MAGAZI DECEM

GUIDE AY E THE PL

BER 2 021

NE

20 21

QA THE RUG BY

PLAYERS ’ ORGAN ISATION

The

&

WE INTE

RVIEW:

MARVIN OR CHRIS VA IE N RICKY SC ZYL H RUAN PI ROEDER ENAAR

OTHER PUBLICATIONS IN 2021/2022 ¼

MyPlayers Newsletter (March 2021)

issue

¼

Players’ Core Financial Services Benefits (April 2021)

WERNER KO CATO LO K UW

¼

Springbok information pack (May 2021)

PLUS OU R VERY OW N DAVID DE VILLIERS & ISMA-EEL DOLLIE

DECEMBER 2021

¼

MyPlayers Magazine (June 2021)

¼

The Players’ Guide 2021/2022

THEME: THE Q&A ISSUE

(October 2021)

ARTICLES:

¼

My Fellow South Africans: Q&A with SARPA

¼

The Players’ Guide 2021 (February 2021)

¼

www.mypla yers.co.za

¼

RS’

MyPlayers Magazine (December 2021)

President, Marvin Orie

¼

Springbok information pack (June 2022)

Never in a Pickle: Q&A with outgoing SARPA

¼

2022 Craven Week brochure (June/July 2022)

president, Chris ‘Pickle’ van Zyl What it means to Wake & Take: Q&A with Ricky

¼

Schroeder ¼

A new dawn for South African rugby by Ruan Pienaar

¼

Do you know this ou? Q&A with Isma-eel Dollie

DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS PLATFORMS

and David de Villiers

Instagram continues to be MyPlayers’ most popular

¼

Q&A with Werner Kok

social media channel, having the most followers

¼

TV interviews: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly – Q&A

and the most engaged audience. To increase the

with Cato Louw

frequency and quality of posts and engagement, former professional player and current SuperSport commentator and TV presenter, Ricky Schroeder,

MYPLAYERS APP

was brought on board as MyPlayers’ Instagram guy.

The MyPlayers app was created in 2019, and it continues to be an invaluable

A decision to replicate some Instagram content

communications tool between the

on MyPlayers’ Facebook page has also resulted

Players’ Organisation and its members.

in increased user engagement, although the two

The app continues to be the primary

audiences differ in profile, with Instagram remaining

point of call to upload, review and

the channel of choice for professional rugby players.

manage commercial payments to players. In 2021 and 2022, the app

MyPlayers has a social-media presence on Twitter

underwent further development and enhancements

and LinkedIn.

to include more functionalities. These additions include: ¼

Comprehensive overhauling of the MyNumbers platform (see p. 30 under

13 800

31 100

4 998

207

Financial Services)

followers

followers

followers

followers

¼

A voting/polling functionality

¼

An in-house requisition and leave-

www.myplayers.co.za

management system

35


M Y P L AY E R S AWA R D S , I N PA R T N E R S H I P W I T H B R I G H T R O C K MyPlayers’ five-year deal with BrightRock as the

efforts, organising a live-streamed extravaganza in

official events partner of the annual MyPlayers Awards

Johannesburg that had all the bells and whistles from

concluded in 2021, but not before hosting two

pre-Covid times. This event, too, was broadcast

spectacular events in one year.

on SuperSport and various online channels.

In March 2021, the winners of the 2020

Sport broadcaster and producer Elma

MyPlayers Awards were announced via

Smit and Kaleigh Karsten from BrightRock

a digital event that was broadcast on

delivered both events in close cooperation

SuperSport and YouTube. Due to Covid-19

with the MyPlayers team. A word of

restrictions, an in-person event was not

gratitude is extended to Smit and Karsten,

possible. The same applied when the 2021

who took the MyPlayers Awards to new heights

Awards were hosted in September 2021. However,

since coming on board in 2017.

the event organisers doubled down on their

2020 W I N N E R S

PLAYERS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR

FORWARD PLAYER OF THE YEAR

BACKLINE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Duane Vermeulen

Duane Vermeulen

Wandisile Simelane

DEFENDER OF THE YEAR

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR

BEST OFF THE BENCH

Lukhanyo Am

Vincent Tshituka

36 36

Morné “Krappie” van den Berg


202 1 W I N N E R S

PLAYERS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR

FORWARD PLAYER OF THE YEAR

BACKLINE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Cheslin Kolbe

Siya Kolisi

Damian de Allende

DEFENDER OF THE YEAR

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR

BEST OFF THE BENCH

Lukhanyo Am

Lusanda Dumke

37

Trevor Nyakane


07

T H E P L AY E R S ’ CHARITY

In 2013, the players identified the need to establish their own registered public benefit organisation. The Players’ Charity makes funding available for charitable causes on an annual basis. MyPlayers manages the Players’ Charity on behalf of the professional rugby players to ensure that the funds are donated in line with their mandate and is also governed by the Public Benefit Organisations Act.

A C T I VAT I O N S I N 202 1 /2022 CHRIS BURGER PETRO JACKSON PLAYERS’ FUND 2021 R140 000

2022 R405 000

The Covid-19 pandemic severely impacted the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund’s fundraising capabilities, putting strain on its ability to support rugby players who have suffered catastrophic injuries while playing the game. The Players’ Fund appealed The Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund is a

to the rugby industry for support, and the players

non-profit organisation. In 2021, the players made

decided to step up to the plate with a contribution

a substantial contribution of R140 000 to Rugby’s

of R405 000, marking this the largest ever single

Caring Hands, doubling their donation of 2020. In

charitable donation made by the members of

the past, category winners at the MyPlayers Awards

MyPlayers.

made discretionary donations to charities of their

On 18 March 2022, Marvin Orie, President of SARPA,

choosing, but it was decided to pull resources and

did the handover to Jean de Villiers, Chairman of the

increase the donation to the Players’ Fund.

Players’ Fund.

38 38


“It is an honour and a privilege for us to assist where help is needed. We value the work that the Players’ Fund does, and it is reassuring to know that they are there for all rugby players in South Africa.” Marvin Orie, President of SARPA

“This is another example of how the professional rugby players in South Africa recognise and appreciate the role of Rugby’s Caring Hands, and the impact it makes on the lives of those brave young men anåd women who have unfortunately experienced a lifechanging rugby injury.”

39

Jean de Villiers, Chairman of the Players’ Fund


08

I N T E R N AT I O N A L R U G BY P L AY E R S ( I R P )

International Rugby Players (IRP) is the global representative body regarding issues of importance to professional rugby players. Its membership is currently made up of the national Professional Rugby Players’ Associations from each of South Africa, England, Australia, Ireland, Wales, France, and New Zealand. During 2021 and 2022, IRP’s priorities included the following topics:

COLLABORATION WITH WORLD RUGBY (WR)

GLOBAL PLAYER FOUNDATION

As the international representative organisation

Robust discussions are being had about establishing a

of player interests, IRP continues to stress the

player-driven Foundation with the aim of supporting

importance of a strong working relationship with WR,

retired rugby players. IRP envisages that such a

especially with regards to “meatier” discussions, such

foundation shall have a similar structure to those of

as player image rights, direct player payment models,

regional Player Development Programmes, but with

private equity in rugby, player welfare, and strong

slight tweaks to fit the different needs of retired rugby

representation.

players. IRP will aim to align the proposed foundation with the Players’ Association’s recently re-drafted

GLOBAL RUGBY SEASON

definition of player welfare: “Player welfare refers

While the possibility of a global rugby season is

to the physical, mental, and social health, holistic

looking increasingly likely to happen, IRP remains

development, safety, and rights of players.”

resolute in its position that player welfare needs to is taken. Understanding player load is of special

IRP ANNUAL GENERAL EXECUTIVE CONFERENCE, DUBAI (14 to 15 June 2022)

significance in these conversations.

In June 2022, Mandisi Tshonti and David de Villiers

be high on the list of priorities when such a decision

represented MyPlayers at IRP’s Annual General

WOMEN’S RUGBY

Executive Conference in Dubai. The topics discussed

The exponential growth of women’s rugby is

overlap with the highlighted priorities mentioned

currently one of the most exciting developments in

above. The agenda in Dubai included:

rugby. Among many priorities in this space, IRP is throwing its weight behind exploring pathways to

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Concussion

professionalism.

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Global season (tournaments and competitions)

CONCUSSION MANAGEMENT AND PREVENTION

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Women’s rugby

IRP continues to monitor concussion protocols and

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Player Development Support

research, including its own. In 2022, players responded

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Structuring commercial rights

to an IRP survey, looking at the issue of concussion self-reporting and potential underreporting, and IRP wants to ensure that concussion management is addressed proactively.

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