World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont is confident a more unified approach to tackle the challenges presented by coronavirus can help his sport create a new international structure.
Plans for a two-tier Nations Championship – working around the Six Nations and Rugby Championship with promotion and relegation – were scrapped in June last year after failing to garner enough support.
But Beaumont, who hopes to be re-elected in his role next month, feels the suspension of sport is a chance to re-examine international calendars.
And, with World Rugby launching an £80million fund this week to help unions negotiate the coronavirus crisis, he is encouraged by the togetherness between rugby nations.
“I’m pretty confident that there will be a variation of the nations cup,” the former England captain told BBC Radio Five Live.
“I think there’s a real spirit of collaboration between the north and the south, looking at what we can do with our playing windows and international windows that can generate more funds in another competition.
“You have to look at the calendar – the British and Irish Lions tour every four years, the Rugby World Cup every four years. It’s a balancing act that you have to do to fit everything into this jigsaw.
“But I think in the past people have been quite protective about what they have got, what we are looking at now this is probably a reality check in the sport – are we doing things correctly? You are pretty foolish if you don’t learn lessons.
“There’s a real feeling I get now that some variant of the nations league will come back on the table.”
Beaumont previously admitted there might not be any more international rugby played in 2020 and uncertainty remains over when domestic sport can resume.
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