World Rugby’s Vice Chairman Augustin Pichot believes Japan should be invited to join the Rugby Championship.
The former Pumas scrumhalf made the claim in an interview with the Telegraph’s Daniel Schofield, saying that such a move would be beneficial for the development of Japan.
Pichot also believes that Georgia should be added to the Six Nations.
“I would love to see the Six Nations open up to Georgia. I would also challenge SANZAAR anzaar to open up to Japan and the Americas Championship to countries to like Mexico,” said Pichot, who believes that the game’s growth has to be balanced against a desire to generate profit.
Japan’s heroics at the last Rugby World Cup in England and the Sunwolves hammering of the Blues on the weekend would suggest that the Braves Blossoms – whose country boasts a population of 130 million – could bring plenty to the table, both on the pitch and in terms of revenue.
Pichot outlined how championing Tier 2 Nations development was at the core of his position in the World Rugby structure.
“What are we here for? I am not naive. I understand we have to make sure the business grows but we cannot lose what rugby stands for.”
Pichot has not been shy of expressing his opinions on World Rugby issues publically in the past. Last year he openly called for a change to the Residency Rules, stating: “Somebody will kill me but we need to change it,” Pichot said. “I think it is wrong.”
President of Rugby Americas, former captain of Argentina’s 15s and sevens teams and bronze final winner at Rugby World Cup 2007, Pichot has been a driving force behind Argentina’s development on and off the field, including The Rugby Championship inclusion and the introduction of an Argentinian team in Super Rugby.