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Georgians' World League alternative

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The alternative '8-8-8' World League format which is doing the rounds online and has Georgia's seal of approval

If there is one common theme in the controversy surrounding World Rugby’s proposal to commence a World League starting in 2022, it’s how little a voice the minnow tier two countries really have in the global running of the sport.

Money clearly talks loudest and when you don’t have it, your say simply doesn’t get the notice it might deserve. 

However, with the clock ticking on the April 5 deadline for a decision on whether to adopt the World League or stick by an international calendar of fixtures agreed in San Francisco two years ago,  it is time to listen to some alternative suggestions as to how any agreed World League might be better formatted than the current proposal of three leagues of 12 teams. 

Georgia is one particular tier two country keen on ensuring its development isn’t stymied by the self-interests of the richer tier one nations. They were again recently crowned Six Nations B champions but continue to be kept at arm’s length away from the bigger boys except for the World Cup every four years.

It was on March 4 when Georgian Rugby president Gocha Svanidze caused a stir on Twitter when his association posted a video suggesting that the treatment of the tier two countries was “unacceptable” by “snub-nosed, retrograde officials” in World Rugby. 

(Continue reading below…)

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Now, more than fortnight later, comes a suggestion from people within the Georgian rugby community calling for what they believe is a better format for the World League to be considered.

They believe there should be three leagues of eight teams – not three 12s – and RugbyPass sets out their proposal below… 

  In the beginning we have eight leading teams, who according to current world ranking are the original five Six Nations teams (without Italy) and the original three Rugby Championship teams (without Argentina);

  The first league of eight teams starts with New Zealand and finishes with France. The second league of eight teams starts with Fiji and finishes with Uruguay;

  The tournament would start in the February-March window where there would will be three or four rounds. All eight teams have to play seven rounds, which will finish in the June summer window where each team will play the remaining three or four rounds;

  After the seven rounds it would be known which teams will be in top four and lower four in the first group of eight; and the lower four of the second group do likewise with the third grouping.

  The top four teams would continue to play with each other over three rounds to determine who is the winner. This would take place during the autumn window;

  As for the lower four teams from first group of 8, they will face the top four teams from the second group of eight;

  After the season is over, the new groups of eight teams will be established according to accumulated points.

Watch: Beaumont issues World League statement

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The alternative '8-8-8' World League format which is doing the rounds online and has Georgia's seal of approval