A revolutionary World Nations Championship, involving the top tier of 12 teams in a global competition, is now right back on the agenda after it was originally discarded, according to the Sunday Times.
The paper has been given details of the plan which would involve the creation of three leagues with the highest profile one putting the Six Nations and the Rugby Championship teams up against each other in a cross-hemisphere 12 team league in the existing Autumn and Spring windows. The women’s game could also use the same format.
Under the dramatic change for the sport, below the Six Nations and the Rugby Championship will be two global leagues – currently labelled Emerging Nations Division 1 and 2, with teams playing home and away and the details have been, according to the paper, put together by World Rugby’s executive under the leadership of Mark Egan, head of competition. “Potentially from the Americas in the top division there could be United States and Uruguay, perhaps three or four from Asia/Pacific – Samoa, Japan. Each union will be helped by performance investment programmes from world rugby,” said Egan.
Underneath these events the rugby world will be split into four conferences, each responsible for running development and league players for their own nations, with promotion and relegation. The four will be Europe, the Americas, Africa and a new region, Asia/Pacific.
The Rugby Championship will be increased to six teams with the introduction of Fiji and Japan while in the women’s game, New Zealand, Australia, the USA and Canada would play each other.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now