World Rugby Confirms Plans For ‘League Of Nations’ Tournament
World Rugby has confirmed plans to completely revamp the Test calendar by introducing a “league of nations” tournament featuring rugby’s top 12 national teams.
The plan hopes to boost revenues for the sporting body, and has been backed by CEO Brett Gosper – providing it passes a feasibility study.
The tournament would see a 12-team annual competition take place during non-World Cup years with the top six teams from each side of the hemisphere all playing each other. The top four teams at the end would enter elimination phase to find an annual champion.
“It just makes sense and it would seem to be the time to do this and there’s a consensus and a desire to try,” Gosper told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.
The Rugby Championship and the Six Nations would serve as the first leg of the competition.
The second leg between northern and southern teams would take place in the existing July (June window is moving to July as part of the Global Calendar) and November windows, replacing the current three-Test tours that usually occur.
“The team coming South would have to play three (different) teams, but it’s making sure each game counts towards an end that is more interesting to the fans, and therefore a more viable product,” Gosper said.
“It keeps the Rugby World Cup as the pinnacle event but you’re building towards that over a three-year period,”
“Everyone wants to see if the theory leads to higher values and the implications,”
The Telegraph reports the new competition could start as early as 2020.