World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont announces meeting to discuss World League

Chairman of World Rugby Sir Bill Beaumont
Chairman of World Rugby Sir Bill Beaumont

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont has called for an emergency meeting to discuss on the revamp to the international calendar.

The meeting follows after the Pacific Island nations have threatened to pull out of the upcoming World Cup in Japan after the news of the introduction of World League doing rounds.

According to a report in New Zealand Herald, they are close to signing a 12-team World League from 2020 - with the six Northern Hemisphere countries continuing to be part of the Six Nations while Japan and USA will join the other four Southern Hemisphere nations in the Rugby Championship leaving out Pacific nations Samoa, Fiji and Tonga.

Apart from the five games in their respective competitions, the teams will face other hemisphere nations in June/July and November taking their number of games in a year to 11 games with the top four teams overall featuring in a semi-final followed by a final. The report further added each participating nation would stand to earn between $10 and $14 million per season in the broadcast deal.

The protest against the governing body's move has picked pace with top players Owen Farrell, Johnny Sexton and Kieran Read also expressing displeasure over the move citing "player welfare and integrity" concerns.

"In light of continued speculation and commentary, I am convening a meeting of Chairmen and CEOs from tier one unions, Fiji and Japan, and player representatives in Dublin later this month to consider the way forward for an annual international competition," said Sir Beaumont.

"Contrary to reports, no decisions have been made. This is an ongoing and complex process with multiple stakeholders, some with differing views.

"Only by working together in the interests of the global game can we achieve something impactful in this important area for rugby's future global growth.

"I look forward to a constructive debate with my colleagues and productive outcomes."