The idea of a global rugby calendar is something that has been flirted with for years, but one that has never been acted upon. The sanctity of tournaments like the Six Nations have proven to be an obstacle to any progress being made in the past, but an aligned calendar between the northern and southern hemispheres is a topic that is becoming increasingly popular.
World Rugby chairman hopeful Agustin Pichot recently said that this idea of a global game is one that he will not simply be “paying lip service to” as he mounts a challenge for Bill Beaumont’s position ahead of the World Rugby elections.
This is one of the ex-Argentina captain’s main pledges, which he has been keen to reiterate on social media. He recently said on Twitter that “there has to be a stage where we align the whole global calendar, thinking of emerging nations as well”.
Such a seismic shake-up to the global calendar will face stiff opposition, but the former scrum-half has emphasised how this will benefit emerging nations across the world and provide them more opportunities to play against the top-ranked sides.
The rugby league calendar is aligned so that the Super League and the NRL play concurrently. This is easier when there are only two leagues to contend with, but it not only makes the organisation of international fixtures and tournaments easier and fairer, it also opens the door for high profile club fixtures such as a World Club Challenge.
— Agustín Pichot (@AP9_) April 14, 2020
The prospect of pitting the best of the two hemispheres against each other in union has been discussed at length recently, and there is no doubt a global calendar would facilitate that.
As the weeks pass, this will be a point that Pichot will continue to put forward ahead of next month’s election.
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