Jean-Baptiste Sarrazin 14:45 pm, March 24, 2023A new rugby competition could see the light of day as early as 2026. According to the Anglo-Saxon newspaper of the "Telegraph", the leaders of world rugby are about to set up a new international league in which the nations of the southern hemisphere and the northern hemisphere would compete. It would take place every two years instead of the July and November tours. The World Cup and the Six Nations Tournament would not be impacted by the establishment of this League.
Will world rugby undergo a major overhaul? According to information from the Anglo-Saxon newspaper The Telegraph, the leaders of World Rugby are working on the establishment of a new international competition. It would take the form of a League, with two groups of six teams in each hemisphere. The North Group would consist of the current Six Nations teams (France, Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and Italy), while the South Group would see Japan and Fiji join the Rugby Championship teams (New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina). This competition would include 12 world nations, the twelve that currently dominate world rugby.
Every two years, starting in 2026
This new competition would radically overhaul the tests of July of November and could even close the Six Nations Tournament according to the Telegraph. The project is currently in a "final consultation phase" and only needs the green light from clubs and players' representatives to see the light of day. The World Rugby body, which governs world rugby, to formalize this novelty just before the World Cup in France which is due to begin in September.
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The Rugby League could be set up as early as 2026 and would take place every two years. The rules would see teams from the northern hemisphere play three southern away opponents in July. The return matches would take place in November. This would end the traditional three-week tour against a host country. The top two teams from each pool would compete in a grand final, while the other nations would play classification matches. The meetings would be held on a rotating basis, so that all teams would meet over a two-year cycle.
A second League from 2030
The establishment of this League would close the door to second-class nations and rising nations such as Georgia or the United States. And for good reason, there would be fewer meetings between level 1 and 2 nations. The mention of a system of ascent and descent would also be studied. But promotion and relegation could only be introduced from a level 2 competition involving countries like Georgia. This second League would only see the light of day from 2030.