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International Rugby Players union issues statement following World Rugby update on June/November Test windows

By Liam Heagney

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The International Rugby Players union has urged clubs and unions to fully collaborate in order to achieve a global season that works for all following Wednesday’s media statement from World Rugby that they are looking to launch new Test tournaments in the June/November Test windows from 2024 onwards.


International Rugby Players CEO Omar Hassanein said: “We note today’s statement to retain the existing July and November windows. As discussions move forward in a timely manner, we will continue to stress the importance of travel, load and recovery factors for players.

“But to ensure that a real solution is found which works for everyone, we need clubs, unions, governing bodies and tournament organisers to set aside any historic differences and make decisions based solely on the betterment of our game.

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“With all sides working together, I’m confident that we will find a long-term model that works for players and fans alike, increases broadcast interest, boosts the financial position of the game and strategically grows emerging nations.”

It was February 2020, a month after a World Rugby workshop in London, that the International Rugby Players union stated its minimum conditions for any new tournaments:

  • An equal playing field with more meaningful matches for emerging nations, with a view to removing the current tier system and allowing the game to grow;
  • An optimal match, training and travel load which protects the physical and mental well-being of players, allowing them to consistently perform at their best;
  • A balance between club and country, ensuring that clubs adhere to regulation nine and that players don’t feel compromised when leaving their clubs for international duty;
  • A commercially viable model that allows players to be paid a fair revenue share;
  • A competition that works for the fans.

The International Players union and World Rugby statements have emerged on the same day that New Zealand Rugby received a $465million offer from US technology investment giants Silver Lake for a 15 per cent share of commercial rights valued at $3.1billion.



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International Rugby Players union issues statement following World Rugby update on June/November Test windows