The New Global Calendar Will Have A Dramatic Effect On English Rugby

World Rugby yesterday released details of the new global calendar which is set to come into effect following the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Rugby’s governing body says it will increase matches between Tier One and Two nations by 39 percent.

As part of the new calendar, the June Test window will be moved to July, while it also includes provision for Tier One tours to the Pacific Islands, Japan, Canada, the U.S., Georgia and Romania. The new schedule will run from 2020 until 2032.

The windows for the November Tests and the Rugby World Cup will also both move forward by a week.

The Daily Telegraph are also reporting that the new calendar will have a dramatic effect on English rugby with the Premiership final, which is normally held in the last weekend in May, to move to the last weekend in June. This will guarantee a two-week rest period guaranteed before England play their first tour match.

The Premiership however, will still start on the first weekend of September, but the new nine-month domestic season will ensure that the league will no longer overlap with either England’s November Test series or the Six Nations Championship.

It is also likely to lead to more games being played in better weather conditions, with 15 club matches, including the knockout stages of the Champions and Challenge Cups, set to be played after the end of the Six Nations in March.

“This is the biggest change to English club rugby since the inception of the Premiership,” said Premiership Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty
“It gives us the ability now to reduce the overlaps significantly from 2020 onwards to give the clubs more ability to manage their competitions and grow their competitions alongside the international game without the two competing quite so much for the services of players. I think it will usher in more advance processes towards individual management of the international players because we are removing Premiership fixtures from international periods and extending the season to June.
“Rather than having the players missing en masse we can manage it through the season, which is good for them and good for our competition.
“It gives us the ability to have a very strong Premiership Rugby competition all through the year and manage the squad rotation along the way.”

The overhaul will also mean the Anglo-Welsh competition is expanded, possibly to include sides from Ireland and Scotland, as a development tournament to bring through the next generation of talent to fill the gaps left by the removal of Premiership games during the Test match weekends.

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