The Springboks and Japan could be involved in a unique tournament in England in November.
A proposed ‘festival of rugby’ tournament is one of the options being put forward if the scheduled end-of-year internationals cannot go ahead.
According to the Daily Mail, the Six Nations teams could be joined by world champions South Africa and Japan in London in a one-off event to help boost Rugby Union’s finances which have taken a knock due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The tournament could be structured with two pools of four countries, “with the possibility of round-robin fixtures and a final taking place at Twickenham”.
After last year’s successful World Cup, there’s plenty of talk regarding whether Japan’s future lies with the European powerhouses in the Six Nations or with the four Rugby Championship nations.
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There’s also been plenty of talk throughout recent history concerning South Africa’s place in the Rugby Championship as well as Super Rugby, given the geographical challenges.
The other option being considered if the normal end-of-year Tests cannot happen is a home and away Six Nations which would start in November and be continued in February and March.
Rugby Football Union chief executive Bill Sweeney said contingency plans are being drawn up for any eventuality.
“There’s another option of possibly bringing in additional invitational sides,” said Sweeney.
“It’s an opportunity to be creative and maybe create some type of festival of rugby.”
The so-called festival of rugby could give fans a glimpse of what the future of the traditional Northern Hemisphere competition could look like – but it leaves New Zealand, Australia, Argentina and the Pacific Island sides on the outer.
The All Blacks and Wallabies are set to contest a four-match Bledisloe Cup series later in the year but Argentina will be lacking in serious competition for the remainder of 2020.
– with Rugby365
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