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An expanded Six Nations could be played later this year with Japan and Fiji joining England, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, France and Wales in a special eight-team championship.
The Daily Telegraph are reporting that Japan and Fiji will join as two guest sides in a special tournament designed to maximise the 2020 Test schedule in the absence of the usual autumn international tours.
The tournament will reportedly take place in November and December, with two pools of four and a December 5 final between the group winners set to decide the overall winners.
The likes of New Zealand, Australia and South Africa likely will not travel for their usual northern tours in November with travel restrictions remaining in most countries as a result of the ongoing worldwide crisis.
And it appears this expanded tournament will take place to fill the void.
Group matches are being pencilled in for November 14, 21 and 28, with teams split on a seeding basis. The report adds that significant progress has been made on the international fixture list for this autumn with this new-look tournament viewed as “the most likely option”.
In terms of the remaining 2020 Six Nations fixtures, it’s unclear when they will go ahead, if at all.