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Thread: Rugby's new 'World League' to kick off in 2026

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Rugby's new 'World League' to kick off in 2026

    Staff Writers
    Reuters
    July 1, 2023 4:04PM


    A new rugby union competition between tier one nations from the northern and southern hemisphere will be played every alternate year from 2026 to add a competitive edge to the July and November international windows, officials have confirmed.

    A 'World League' has been mooted for some time seeking to extract more revenue from the international windows and bring "context" to what have been friendly fixtures played traditionally in the southern hemisphere in July and in the north in November.

    Although no format has been confirmed by organisers for the new competition, reports suggest Six Nations sides England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales will be in one pool, and teams that make up the Rugby Championship - Australia, Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa - will be in the other along with two invited guests, one of which is likely to be Japan.

    Teams from the north would travel south for three Tests in July and then host three more games in November.

    The Six Nations will remain in its current February-March position on the calendar and the Rugby Championship will still be played in August-September.

    "The creation of the new competition has been a collective process from the sport, including World Rugby, Unions, key leagues, competitions, and crucially, the International Rugby Players," Six Nations Rugby said in a statement on Saturday.

    "Owned and operated by Six Nations Rugby and SANZAAR, the elite competition will take place in alternating years, outside of the British & Irish Lions Tours and Rugby World Cup."

    World Rugby will also create a second-tier competition "to strengthen the development pathway for emerging nations", with promotion and relegation between the two divisions.

    "The introduction of the new elite international competition is testament to the strong ambition from all parties, motivated by delivering context and a stronger narrative around the July and November windows, that can genuinely excite players and bring new fans to the game," the statement continued.

    "The impact this will have on the game will be to drive its growth and long-term sustainability. This runs alongside the work being done to add greater clarity and balance to the club and international calendar; a process Six Nations Rugby and SANZAAR remain committed to help deliver."

    https://www.perthnow.com.au/sport/ru...026-c-11149804

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    I'm finding it difficult to get enthused about this as I really can't see what the real difference is?
    NH plays 6N and do an Autumn Tour in the SH.
    SH plays RC and do a Spring Tour in the NH. I guess the RC gets the two extra Tier 2 competitors, but that dilutes, not improves.
    The results are tallied and whoever is the best over the year gets a shiny new trophy I guess, previously usually correlating with the IRB Ladder...
    I do understand that those outside of the new "competition" are filthy about being locked out.

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    So the commitment to Tier 2 nations is that Promotion and Relegation will be introduced in 2030.

    Who want's to bet that there is a walk back on that commitment?

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    so whats the point of having the RWC every 4 years?

    wont the winner of this Biennial(?) Comp be World Champ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jargan83 View Post
    So the commitment to Tier 2 nations is that Promotion and Relegation will be introduced in 2030.

    Who want's to bet that there is a walk back on that commitment?
    Yep, so will see Japan/Fiji alternating with Samoa/Tonga every two years and no difference to NH Tier 2 (unless you count Italy...).
    Sounds like brain fart territory to me and all about spin to the dollars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgs View Post
    Yep, so will see Japan/Fiji alternating with Samoa/Tonga every two years and no difference to NH Tier 2 (unless you count Italy...).
    Sounds like brain fart territory to me and all about spin to the dollars.
    Wasn't there an article that was written possibly one or 2 months ago giving Japan Tier 1 Status?

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    Quote Originally Posted by .X. View Post
    so whats the point of having the RWC every 4 years?

    wont the winner of this Biennial(?) Comp be World Champ?
    Could be argued, yes.
    Have flagged it elsewhere in recent weeks, I believe a good change to the RWC would be to extend the knock outs to all the 3rd, 4th and 5th ranked teams to have a knock out series to help exposure and rankings.
    From the perspective of the T2 Nations, apart from the honour of attending, they go to the World Cup, burn a heap of funds, get belted in two matches, disappointed in one and a chance of an honourable close result against the other minnow. At least if they got another two fixtures against teams of the same level but not common opponents they may feel they have benefited a little.
    Would add 12 matches to the Tournament that could go to lesser venues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .X. View Post
    Wasn't there an article that was written possibly one or 2 months ago giving Japan Tier 1 Status?
    Official status and genuine status are probably debatable.
    Hence the Italy remark.

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    Brave Blossoms to be added to rugby's top tier of nations

    May 8, 2023

    From Here

    Rugby's governing body is set to promote Japan's national men's team to its Tier 1 group of nations alongside the powerhouses of the sport, sources familiar with the matter said Sunday.

    With the move, expected at a World Rugby board meeting in the coming weeks, the Brave Blossoms will join the 10 current Tier 1 teams and be part of the new "High Performance Union" framework.

    As the first Asian nation to rise to the top level of the sport, Japan has a chance to boost its presence in international rugby.

    The promotion to Tier 1 comes after Japan showed strong results in recent years, such as a quarterfinal finish at the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

    At the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, Japan stunned South Africa in its pool-stage opener.

    Four years later, Japan defeated traditional powerhouses Ireland and Scotland at the World Cup to reach the tournament's last eight for the first time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgs View Post
    Could be argued, yes.
    Have flagged it elsewhere in recent weeks, I believe a good change to the RWC would be to extend the knock outs to all the 3rd, 4th and 5th ranked teams to have a knock out series to help exposure and rankings.
    From the perspective of the T2 Nations, apart from the honour of attending, they go to the World Cup, burn a heap of funds, get belted in two matches, disappointed in one and a chance of an honourable close result against the other minnow. At least if they got another two fixtures against teams of the same level but not common opponents they may feel they have benefited a little.
    Would add 12 matches to the Tournament that could go to lesser venues.
    Something like plate, shield, bowl, trophy competitions in the sevens? Sounds brilliant, I'd watch all those games

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    Quote Originally Posted by chibi View Post
    Something like plate, shield, bowl, trophy competitions in the sevens? Sounds brilliant, I'd watch all those games
    There'd be many great matches.
    For arguments sake and illustrative purposes, if this years Pools were to finish as per current IRB Rankings and likewise the proposed matches results went to current standings, you'd be looking at-

    3rd Place Semis-
    Italy v Scotland
    Fiji v Argentina

    3rd Place Ranking Finals-
    Scotland v Argentina
    Italy v Fiji

    4th Place Semis-
    Uruguay v Tonga
    Georgia v Samoa

    4th Place Ranking Finals-
    Tonga v Georgia
    Uruguay v Samoa

    5th Place Semis-
    Namibia v Romania
    Portugal v Chile

    5th Place Ranking Finals-
    Romania v Portugal
    Namibia v Chile

    I'd attend any of those if held in Western Australia!
    4th Place would be ice-pack central after those two matches!!!

    As they would only have two fixtures, the matches could be spread between the QF, SF and Final of the main matches to allow maximum recovery and avoid the drop-off in matches that currently occurs during those weeks.
    So, the only teams not playing as many matches would be the QF losers with one less than the rest (arguably could create a final cross Pool fixture for them) and the eventual Finalists with one extra than the rest.

    And again, wouldn't need to be at major venues, just so long as they have telecast capacity.

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    You know, this also sounds like an interesting way to run Super Rugby if we still had the three pools with the South African involvement

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    Japan and the Pacific Islands for Aussie Super 9's!

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