Premiership & Top 14 Release Statement Threatening ‘Legal Action’ Against World Rugby
It was reported last week that World Rugby’s proposed new “Nations Championship” had been met by strong opposition by clubs in England and France who were said to be threatening legal action – and it now looks like those reports were on the money.
The report revealed that Premiership Rugby and Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR) were 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.
And now the two organisations have released a join statement revealing they are not happy they have been excluded from crucial talks in Dublin involving the Rugby Players Council, Tier One Unions, Fiji and Japan.
“World Rugby has announced the organisation of a meeting bringing together several unions and the international players’ body supposedly to discuss a project to create a new annual Nations Championship.” a joint Premiership Rugby and LNR statement read
“The San Francisco agreement reached in January 2017 by all stakeholders including LNR (French Rugby League) and PRL (Premiership Rugby) represented a proportionate structure for all parties with an international calendar adopted until 2032.
“It appears that the new competition plan now challenges this balance by increasing the number of international matches, including among other periods extending into December with four or five successive international weeks which had been specifically rejected for established annual international competitions.
“The professional leagues now seem to be excluded from this new work, even though the World Rugby project would be a major change to the San Francisco agreement for all elements of the professional game, and impact other competitions.
“LNR and PRL regret the fact that World Rugby is not fully involving all stakeholders, in seeking a consensus, and they can only reserve the option to take any action to preserve their rights and competitions.”