Eugenie Buckley (TC 1996) is a trailblazer in the sports law industry, and is one of the chief architects behind the establishment of the Indo-Pacific Rugby Championship (IPRC).
Eugenie chose to study Sports Law at the University of Melbourne as it was the only University offering the degree at the time. After leaving University, she created her own sports law practice Ebsworth & Ebsworth with clients such as the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) and Olympic federations and athletes leading into the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
She then moved in-house as Head of Legal and Commercial, Rugby World Cup 2003 and then General Manager, Business & Legal Affairs for Football Federation Australia and the International Cricket Council.
Now, Eugenie has been recruited to become Head of Commercial and Strategy for the IPRC.
The inaugural IPRC season is set to feature six teams, starting in August 2018. The season will run for 10 rounds between August and October, with the top four teams reaching the finals.
‘We are working on a concept of marquee players and six teams of 30 players,’ said Eugenie.
Another aim of the IPRC is to get the competition on free-to-air television. Speaking to rugby.com.au, Eugenie said there had already been interests from several broadcasters, including free-to-air stations.
Areas that have expressed interest in having an IPRC team include Japan, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Samoa, Fiji, South Korea and Malaysia.
If the ARU endorses the competition, players who sign for the IPRC will remain eligible to play for the Wallabies. Eugenie believes collaboration is crucial to success of the competition and the IPRC will complement the ARU’s existing competition structure.
Eugenie’s advice to those interested in working in sport’s law is to network with experts in the field and build up in-house legal experience.
‘People will often be very happy to sit down and have a cup of coffee. I’d also say work as an in-house lawyer for 2-3 years minimum before moving to working for a sport’s governing body. I spent 5 years building up my experience before making the move.’