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'It's going to be a challenge': Humphreys lands World 12s role

By Liam Heagney

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Ex-Ireland out-half David Humphreys has been appointed as the rugby consultant tasked with bringing the World 12s project to fruition. It was September 7 when the newly planned tournament was launched to mixed reviews, by the former Gloucester and Ulster director of rugby has now been brought on board to negotiate the day to day hurdles involved in getting the event successfully off the ground. The inaugural World 12s tournament, which is scheduled to be held in London next August, aims to see 192 of the world’s best players from tier one and tier two nations selected via auction to represent eight franchised teams.

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An overall investment of £250 million of new financial support in the global game over the next five years is the ultimate aim of the event but its ambition was met by much scepticism despite its launch endorsement from the likes of ex-All Blacks coach Steve Hansen and former Springboks boss Jake White. 

Now Humphreys has been added to the World 12s ticket to support the negotiations and discussions with the key stakeholders within the rugby world. The Irishman, who assisted Georgia during last year’s Autumn Nations Cup, said: “World 12s offers players and fans a fantastic opportunity to be part of something innovative, groundbreaking and fresh. 

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“As a former player, but also with my coach’s head on, I can see the appeal and benefits of the world’s best players playing alongside their counterparts from other nations, but also the significant development opportunity offered to young, up and coming players, and those from emerging nations. 

“It’s obviously going to be a challenge to find a suitable slot in the rugby calendar that works for the many different unions and clubs and supporters, but I am positive we can find a solution which will enable this fantastic tournament to complement and further enhance the men’s and women’s game.”

World 12s chairman Ian Ritchie added: “David was one of our targets from the outset of this project, given his background and extensive experience within the sport both as a player and a coach. David joins World 12s at the start of our journey and will play a crucial role in continuing the consultation that has begun with World Rugby, the unions and the clubs around the world. 

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“He brings with him the insight of both a player and a director of rugby and has huge credibility and respect within the game. I’m personally looking forward to working closely with him over the coming weeks and months to develop World 12s.”

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'It's going to be a challenge': Humphreys lands World 12s role

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