World Rugby considering changes in Test calendar

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont
World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont
©PA

World Rugby's decision to bring a change in the global calendar is gathering pace with the governing body thinking to shift the June Test window to July from 2020.

The decision follows after the officials of World Rugby's executive committee converged in Sydney and it was decided to postpone the June internationals by a month while maintaining the November internationals to strike a balance between the northern and southern hemisphere competitions.

"Building on the solid foundations of the San Francisco calendar agreement, I believe that the time is right and the opportunity exists to do something really impactful that injects further excitement, significance and value into international rugby between Rugby World Cups for the benefit of all," said World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont.

“In line with this objective, we are examining models to maximise the potential of the July and November windows without changing the framework of the San Francisco agreement, and create an annual programme of meaningful matches that will unlock new markets, attract new fans and grow commercial revenues for all, while maintaining player welfare imperatives.

“While these are early days, initial discussions this week with my Executive Committee colleagues have been highly-productive and I would like to thank them for their full cooperation and support.

"This is an important moment for the sport and we must now seize the positive momentum and, working in close partnership with our unions, deliver an outcome that everyone in the game can be proud of and benefit from.”

World Rugby vice-chairman Agustin Pichot also said the governing body is planning to introduce a World League competition from 2020 with the top 12 teams set to participate in it.

“It is critical that we must continually evolve to ensure appeal and relevance within a rapidly-evolving global fan, broadcast and commercial environment," said Pichot.

“The strategies that we have been exploring set out to do just that, providing a potential blueprint for essential growth, furthering opportunities for emerging nations and growing commercial value for all.”

 
 
 
 

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