Tier II nations could be the big winners in the wake of fresh talks about a proposed World Nations League between world rugby leaders in Los Angeles this week.
According to The Times, discussions regarding the format of the new competition have included tier two nations Fiji and Japan joining sides from the Six Nations and Rugby Championship in a 12-team league.
Each team would play each other once throughout the year, followed by a series of play-off matches, with a final between the best nation from either hemisphere to be played at a neutral venue such as Wembley Stadium in London or Camp Nou in Barcelona.
Talks of relegation from the Six Nations have also been proposed.
The report from The Times outlines a proposition which would see the bottom-placed Six Nations side take on the winner of the Europe Rugby Championship, which features second-tier nations Georgia, Romania, Russia, Spain, Germany, and Belgium.
The winner of that promotion/relegation play-off would claim a spot in the next season’s edition of the World Nations League.
Shortened versions of the competition could take place in years featuring British and Irish Lions tours, while the tournament is set to be put on hold during World Cup years in an attempt to preserve rugby’s flagship event.
Rugby World Cup city guide – Kumamoto:
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