Aviva Premiership
Agent claims tapping up is rife in Premiership
ESPN Staff
December 31, 2013

Tapping up in the Aviva Premiership is rife, that's the message from one of the country's top agents.

On Sunday, Gloucester boss Nigel Davies called for the authorities to clamp down on the increasing practice of clubs tapping up players whose contracts are coming to an end. Davies was speaking in the light of the seemingly inevitable move by Freddie Burns from Gloucester to Leicester.

It has been widely reported the switch in the summer is a done deal even though Leicester are not allowed to make a direct approach to the player himself until Wednesday. Regulations prevent direct contact between clubs and players until January 1 in the year they come out of contract.

But an unnamed agent told The Times: "The reality is everyone ignores what the law is, everyone does it and I would be surprised if Gloucester acted any differently."

They added: "All clubs start looking at recruitment from September. They complain when they lose someone, but it has always gone on. Last season a club complained about losing a high-profile player, but we were meeting players that same morning with that club's coach.

"You can't have a binding contract before January 1, when it can be signed. It's a bit of a mess. I'd say most clubs have over 90 per cent of their recruitment done by Christmas - it's nonsense for the laws to say otherwise. Clubs don't want to go into January not knowing their plans. I'd be amazed if any clubs have not been in breach."

For Premiership Rugby, the body in charge of the Aviva Premiership, it will only intervene if a club makes a formal complaint.

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