Big News Regarding A Potential October Schedule To Finish The 2020 Six Nations
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Plans to finish the 2020 Six Nations in October have been hit with some serious backlash from the Premiership and EPCR, as stakeholders in the game attempt to make sense of the next few months.
Rugby, as we know, has been brought to a complete standstill across the world as a result of the ongoing pandemic with the Six Nations among a number of tournaments that are yet to be completed.
In order to deal with the international backlog, October has long been pencilled as a potential period to finish the 2020 Six Nations before a decision is made on what can and can’t go ahead from an international perspective in November.
But those plans have now received some serious backlash from Bath owner Bruce Craig, who has threatened legal action, and from EPCR chairman Simon Halliday, who has slammed the notion.
According to World Rugby regulation 9, clubs are only obliged to release players to play for their countries during set international windows such as November, meaning all clubs would be within their right to deny access to their Test stars.
“The leagues need to defend our rights and defend our competitions and defined blocks allocated by World Rugby under regulation 9,” Craig told Telegraph Sport.
“Last week World Rugby indicated an intention to take the club October window which cuts straight across the European club and domestic seasons.
“We will defend our legal and structural position. Next season’s calendar is formally in place which has been signed off by the professional game board. We will respect our obligations to the RFU and the professional game agreement and the regulations set out by World Rugby.
“We have got television contracts and sponsorship deals that we need to fulfil. The reality is we will be unable to release our players during October for international duty otherwise we will be in breach of existing contracts.”
Halliday meanwhile, said they will “absolutely” not accept international rugby in October as they scramble to finish the Champions and Challenge Cups which are currently at the quarter-final stage.
“We absolutely do not accept a schedule of international rugby in October,” said Halliday to the Guardian.
“That directly clashes with us and we are informing World Rugby we fully intend to use our October window if we need it.
“We could play our semis and finals on those two weekends or, alternatively, just use one of them for the final and try and find two other dates in August and September for the quarters and semis.”