International Rugby Set To Resume As World Rugby Council Approves Temporary Calendar

Back in business.

An exciting programme of international matches is set to take place later this year after the World Rugby Council approved a temporary adjustment to Regulation 9 to accommodate the release of international players for revised 2020 windows.

The adjustment to the regulation has been approved as a temporary measure to mitigate the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on global rugby activities and will provide welcome boost for players, teams, fans, and broadcast and commercial partners.

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The windows approved by the World Rugby Council for player release are:

  • Temporary global player release window for 2020: 24 October – first weekend of December
  • Temporary Rugby Championship window for 2020: 7 November – second weekend of December

The temporary global window will accommodate the completion of the 2020 men’s and women’s Six Nations Championships on 24 and 31 October, a rest weekend on 7 November and four consecutive rounds of international matches.

The 2020 Rugby Championship will take place over a reduced six-week period between 7 November and the second week in December with SANZAAR having asked New Zealand to host.

The current Regulation 9 windows will return to normal after the conclusion of the temporary calendar.

All parties, including unions, club competitions and players, remain committed to continued dialogue regarding the long-term harmonisation of the international calendar for the betterment of all.

The rescheduling of the domestic, European and international calendars will accommodate the ability for the professional clubs to have access to their star southern hemisphere international players for the completion of the postponed and rescheduled 2019/20 seasons at a time in which they would have ordinarily been on international duty in August and September.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said:

“The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented in its impact on society and sport and, throughout this process, all parties have sought to deliver the best-possible outcome to support the interests of international and club rugby and the players.

“Agreement and approval of this schedule is exciting for players and fans and an important step in supporting our unions in mitigating financial impact and optimising the sport’s return from the pandemic in an equitable way.

“These matches will be greatly anticipated by all, and I would like to thank unions, the international and club competitions and players for their input and the fans for their patience as we have sought to get international rugby back up and running.”