World Rugby sounds increasingly confident that its desire to see a proper global calendar materialise will come to fruition following its endorsement of recent talks between the Six Nations and SANZAAR. The game’s leading annual Test rugby tournament bodies issued a joint statement on Friday outlining the progress that has recently been made in talks, listing seven key principles that had underpinned the work to date.

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“Following the World Rugby meetings in March this year, SANZAAR and the Six Nations have been working closely over the lockdown period against a set of key principles between the parties to develop and agree on proposals for an aligned global calendar,” read their statement. 

Now, World Rugby have responded with a statement of its own, lauding the promising outlook amid the financial concerns for the sport created by the coronavirus pandemic outbreak. “World Rugby welcomes the commitment from the Six Nations and SANZAAR for closer collaboration to ensure a more harmonious global calendar for all stakeholders,” read the statement. 

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“World Rugby has consistently supported and championed reform of the international calendar for the betterment of the sport as a whole, including all unions, international and club competition organisers, and players.

“Within regular and productive discussions between stakeholders, World Rugby is working to ensure that any calendar outcome recognises the global nature of our sport, and therefore the competition needs of all nations at all levels. 

“Any proposed competition model must also prioritise player welfare considerations, the women’s game, and protect the funding model of the wider game which is driven by the growth in the value of Rugby World Cup.

“World Rugby looks forward to further close collaboration with all parties to reach the best outcome for the global game. A decision on any adjustment to the current global calendar and its international release windows will need to be considered and taken by the World Rugby council.”

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