Premiership Rugby and the LNR have issued a withering statement on World Rugby’s proposed ‘Nations Championship’.
There has been widespread upset as details of the World League have leaked out in recent weeks. World Rugby have moved to dispel so-called misinformation and fears that a number of Tier 2 nations will effectively be frozen out of the competition.
While more details of the structure of the two league system were clarified last week, it is clear that both Premiership Rugby and the LNR are not happy with what they see as a lack of involvement with the process.
The joint statement reads:
World Rugby has announced the organisation of a meeting bringing together several unions and the international players’ body supposedly to discuss a project to create a new annual Nations Championship.
The San Francisco agreement reached in January 2017 by all stakeholders including LNR (French Rugby League) and PRL (Premiership Rugby) represented a proportionate structure for all parties with an international calendar adopted until 2032.
It appears that the new competition plan now challenges this balance by increasing the number of international matches, including among other periods extending into December with four or five successive international weeks which had been specifically rejected for established annual international competitions.
The professional leagues now seem to be excluded from this new work, even though the World Rugby project would be a major change to the San Francisco agreement for all elements of the professional game, and impact other competitions.
LNR and PRL regret the fact that World Rugby is not fully involving all stakeholders, in seeking a consensus, and they can only reserve the option to take any action to preserve their rights and competitions.
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