England & France Threaten Legal Action Against World Rugby
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World Rugby’s proposed new “Nations Championship” has reportedly been met by strong opposition by clubs in England and France who are threatening legal action according to The Telegraph.
The report suggests both Premiership Rugby and Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR) are considering action against rugby’s governing body because they regard the proposal for an annual 12-side tournament to be “in clear breach of the San Francisco agreement”, the accord struck by World Rugby in January 2017 to guarantee the structure of the global season to 2032.
The Telegraph say they have seen a cope of a letter sent by LNR chairman Paul Goze to World Rugby boss Bill Beaumont in which they express their huge frustration at a lack of consultation with clubs regarding the proposal that plans on completing restructuring the international game.
They have warned that legal action could be taken unless “major concerns” were addressed. Premiership Rugby are said to be “100 per cent” behind their French counterparts and are said to be angered and “astonished” that they were not invited to next week’s meeting in Dublin.
Sources said English clubs were “astonished” they were not part of the process to plan the future of world rugby having been led to believe that the San Francisco accord have provided certainty for the next 12 years.
“We quite sensibly have put in a break there for player welfare purposes,” said one source referring to an agreement between the Premiership clubs and the Rugby Football Union (RFU) that their tops stars would be rested for summer tours after World Cups.
“And another principle of San Francisco was that we were meant to help the developing nations in the summer after the World Cup, with England going to Japan next year while the senior players are given time off to recover.” the source added.
“This has got to be seen in a four-year World Cup cycle. World Cup, summer off, Lions tour, tour of some sorts to get the players ready for the World Cup a year before the World Cup. World Rugby say they are addressing player welfare but how do you rest the top players when a team is involved in competitive games across the year?”
European Champions Cup officials are also said to be in the same boat regarding the proposal.