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New global calendar up for discussion as international and club bosses set for major World Rugby meeting

The Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

A new global calendar will be up for discussion during a significant World Rugby meeting on Monday. Presidents and representatives from both hemispheres will take part in an online forum that will look at creating a new unified global rugby calendar.

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With representatives from Test nations, professional clubs and all of the major competitions invited to take part in the online forum, the meeting could lead to major change in the global calendar.

A number of different scenarios are set to be presented, with the possibility of running the domestic seasons in both the northern and southern hemispheres at the same time up for discussion.

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World Rugby could also consider altering the international windows in order to allow an extended Test match period later in the year.

Any new calendar could also see the Six Nations be moved from its traditional slot in Feburary and March.

The discussion surrounding the club calendar is likely to prove more difficult.

In order to create a new global season, the English Premiership, Guinness Pro14, French Top 14 and even Super Rugby could all be required to readjust their seasons.

There is expected to be some opposition to any restructuring from some of the major European clubs.

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Speaking last week, Paul Goze, president of the Ligue Nationale de Rugby in France, warned that some Top14 clubs will be wary of change.

“The first [point] is that if we play in those months in the summer, we lose the length of our competition,” Goze said.

“At the moment we occupy 10 months and it’s like a TV series.

“Every week there is a new moment in the series, and so everyone is talking about it and people are really involved — and our broadcaster, Canal Plus, likes that. That’s very important for our revenue.

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“If you play in the summer it’s no good for ticketing because people are on holiday. It’s no good for our corporate sponsors because they can’t invite guests and do their entertainment.

“You have events like the Tour de France, the Olympic Games in some years and so on. The sports competitions and other distractions in July and August are just too much.”

Other clubs and leagues may share similar concerns.

In Ireland, for example, a new summer schedule would require the four Irish provinces to compete with the massively popular Gaelic Games, which run their annual championships across the summer.

A move to summer rugby could also see the end of the busy Christmas period for European clubs, where high-profile domestic and Champions Cup fixtures – such as the December back-to-backs in the Champions Cup – are massively important sources of revenue.

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Shaylen 1 hours ago
Jack Willis' Champions Cup masterclass proves English eligibility rules need a rethink

If France, Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland got together and all changed their eligibility laws in the same way SA has it would be absolutely bonkers. All players from all nations involved in Europe would be fair game as would their coaches. The investment in rugby would be supercharged as teams would rush to create dream teams. Transfer markets would be super charged, salary caps may change, private investment would grow as rich backers first buy clubs and then put money into their clubs in an effort to land the best players. The richest clubs and franchises would benefit most but money and players would move across borders at a steady flow. Suddenly countries like Wales and Scotland would have a much larger pool of players to select from who would be developed and improved in systems belonging to their rivals within superstar squads while their clubs receive large sums in the transfer market. The Six Nations would experience a big boost as the best players become available all the time. The Champions cup would become even more fiercely contested as the dream teams clash. Fan engagement would grow as fans would follow their favourite players creating interest in the game across the continent. Transfer markets and windows would become interesting events in themselves, speculation would drive it and rumours of big transfers and interest in players would spread. All of this is speculation and much of it would not eventuate straight away but just like in football the spread of players and talent would create these conditions over time. The transfer markets in European football is proof of this. Football had the same club vs country debate eons ago and favoured an open system. This has made it the largest game in the world with global interest and big money. Rugby needs to embrace this approach in the long run as well

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Jon 7 hours ago
Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt

This is a bit dramatic for me, I think the Rebels and Force cultures would be very strong, and if a player is chosen from either, you can be confident they are in a good head space and ready. Whether they quite have the technical or tactical foundations of the other two states is where one would way their risk of selection. I see no need for Schmidt to worry about that risk in this squad. The main reason I could see a predominance of players from Brumbies and Reds, is simple cohesion. What might the coaching group make of what’s lacking in the Tahs, and to a lesser extent Rebels and Force’s, franchise? Certainly sides (players) that are running irish plays like we saw from that lovely McDermott long ball with have a head start. I hope the players can continue it at International level. Really liked what I saw of Wright (don’t know player focus and just hadn’t seen a lot of him anyway) in that game, can see him being a glue in a Wallaby side too. A with the similar worry of selecting players like Ryan, I think it unfounded to worry so much about forward balance at the moment. Including both Wright and Skelton in the same lineout is not going to lose you games gainst Wales. Nor will any unknown weakenss Wales might find in Ryan be exploited to any great extent. It is the perfect time to introduce such a young player. What other shortcuts might Schmidt want to make now, just a year out from hosting BIL? When Gamble came on the scene I thought he had a Pocock ability to break game apart along with performing the role of a openside well. I would be very keen to drop Leota/Hooper for Gamble, and in your squad make up, include Uru as a lock. Did you forget to remove Vunivalu from your team? Would you have Meafou in your squad if you could?

114 Go to comments
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