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Thread: 'A global champion every two years': Push for world test rugby competition

  1. #1
    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
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    'A global champion every two years': Push for world test rugby competition

    Georgina Robinson
    07:44, Feb 16 2022

    The All Blacks and France, two of the top teams in the world, could clash more often if a proposed world rugby test competition goes ahead.
    Six Nations and Rugby Championship bosses will meet in London next month to revive the World Nations Championship in a fresh bid to overhaul rugby’s global calendar.

    Three years after the concept was killed off by promotion and relegation fears, the chief executives of rugby’s 10 most powerful national unions are close to agreeing the structure of a global championship to be held every two years from 2024.

    “If we can work together for an outcome that produces a global champion every two years, engages our fan bases more than we do now and throughout the year, and provides a pathway for rugby’s emerging nations to improve and progress, then we can be in a much better position to grow our game and take it to the next level,” Sanzaar boss Brendan Morris told the Sydney Morning Herald.

    A global champion would be crowned every two years in four, skipping World Cup and British and Irish Lions years.

    Two 12-team divisions of established and emerging nations are still on the cards, with the Six Nations and Rugby Championship unions in the top division, plus two more southern hemisphere countries, such as Fiji and Japan.

    The main change to the current calendar would be that every test would be played for competition points, including the Six Nations, the Rugby Championship and the six extra Tests played in the July and November touring windows.

    The Six Nations and Rugby Championship would stay as competitions in their own rights but also contribute to the overall ladder.

    Then, instead of an England team touring Australia for a three-Test series or an Ireland team touring New Zealand, the Wallabies, All Blacks, Springboks and Pumas would host three different countries each July. If Fiji and Japan join the Rugby Championship in 2024, they would also host inbound Tests in that period.

    In November, the southern hemisphere nations would head north for the final three rounds of the championship, potentially with a fourth week added on to crown a global champion in a blockbuster final Test.

    The pitch faces all of the same challenges of the failed 2019 model, including convincing weaker nations to agree to a promotion and relegation mechanism between the top and emerging divisions. Player-welfare concerns will come to the fore again, while there could also be wariness from northern hemisphere club competitions if their seasons butt up against any final championship round.

    The $7.8 billion pay day World Rugby promised for the original competition, through its deal with the Infront sports media agency, also showed there was commercial value in turning the July and November windows from classical Test tours into competition rounds.

    Australian officials were cautious about the revival but noted the Six Nations unions, which killed off the original concept, were enthusiastic participants in the fresh talks.

    Rugby Australia boss Andy Marinos said everyone recognised that more could be made of the July and November windows.

    “The rugby bodies have said ‘is there a better international narrative outside Six Nations and TRC around our July and November windows’,” Marinos said.

    “It’s got to make commercial and financial sense for everybody to do it, so that’s part of the due diligence everyone’s undertaking now, but we’re asking if the global calendar can have a better narrative for fans of the game and can it drive a better return than we get now.”

    Meanwhile, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk turned the first sod at the site of the new National Rugby Training Centre at Ballymore in Brisbane on Tuesday. The facility will be the new home of women’s rugby in Australia and has attracted $30 million in funding commitments between the state and federal governments.

    In its favour is its genesis as a Sanzaar and Six Nations proposal, not a World Rugby product - although the governing body is heavily involved. A working group will present its plans to World Rugby’s executive committee in London in the first week of March before further planning sessions between the chief executives of all the unions the following week.

    Two division global championship held every two years (not World Cup or British & Irish Lions).
    Six Nations and Rugby Championship nations plus two extra from south (eg. Fiji and Japan) in top division.
    Emerging nations in second division.
    Promotion and relegation still key pillar.
    Accrue competition points for Six Nations and Rugby Championship tests, plus tests in July and November windows.
    Potential fourth week in November for championship final.
    July inbound tours to south go from three-Test tours by northern hemisphere nations to three different nations playing against each host nation.

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  2. #2
    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    Apparently this concept has been trashed in favour of a points based system across 2 divisions during the mid & end-of-year Test windows with promotion and relegation.

    Currently the inclusions would be:

    S.H Div 1: ZA, NZ, Aus, Arg, Fiji & Samoa.

    N.H. Div 1: Fr, Ir, En, Sco, Japan

    Rugby powerbrokers have quietly scrapped plans to crown a global champion every two years and are pursuing a north v south championship model to be played across the June and November windows instead.

    The new competition model, replacing the defunct Nations Championship, will not include Six Nations or Rugby Championship results in its points tally. It will ring-fence those two lucrative tournaments and instead run a two-division, 12-team championship across the existing three-week Test windows in July and November.

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