Six Nations Relegation & Promotion Proposed As Part Of New World Rugby Plans

The right move?

World Rugby is at a critical point in its lifetime. The game has undergone radical changes over the last few years, but we could be about to see the biggest one yet since the game turned professional over 20 years ago.

Introducing the ‘Nations Championship’ a new World League proposed by rugby’s governing body that looks set to change things forever. Following a lengthy press release yesterday to clear things up following varied reports, World Rugby also released an explainer video detailing their plans in full.

There will be three divisions in this new, global championship and more importantly – there will be promotion and relegation. As the video explains – if the Championship was held this year for example, the European conference would feature the sides competing for the 2019 Guinness Six Nations and the Rest of the World conference would comprise of New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Argentina and the next two sides from the world rankings lists (currently Japan and Fiji).

So how would relegation from the Six Nations work? The side finishing bottom of the Six Nations championship or the ‘European conference’ would be forced t play a relegation playoff against the division two winners. So we could for example see Italy and Georgia battle it out for a spot in the Six Nations, something many have called for for quite some time.

A World Rugby meeting has been planned for Dublin later this month with Tier One Unions, Fiji and Japan all invited to attend, but before that the International Rugby Players Association, including their president Johnny Sexton, will meet to give their two cents.

Whatever happens – the landscape of rugby looks set to change forever.