World Rugby rejects global tournament concept in UK

England hosted the 2015 World Cup
England hosted the 2015 World Cup
©Steve Haag

World Rugby has rejected the idea proposed by former Rugby Football Union chief executive Francis Baron to play a global tournament in England next year following the financial crisis created by the pandemic coronavirus.

Rowe's suggestion came after the union members are anticipating huge losses if no more international games happen for the remainder of the year after four Six Nations tournament were postponed while the July series were cancelled.

World Rugby had already launched an £80m relief fund last month to help unions navigate the pandemic.

"World Rugby does not intend to pursue such a proposal.

“All stakeholders continue to progress productive discussions regarding the immediate global Covid-19 financial relief strategy and international rugby calendar optimisation, both of which will further the success of Rugby World Cup 2023 in France.”

Staging the competition in summer next year would mean British and Irish Lions' tour of South Africa would see a postponement but Baron feels the global tournament will bring in a huge revenue as seen during the 2015 World Cup that was staged in the UK and Ireland.

"The RFU should take a leadership position and propose to other major unions and World Rugby that a special one-off tournament be held in the UK and Ireland in June and July next year," Baron told Telegraph Sport.

"Its key selling point is that all the money raised would be for keeping the game of rugby alive around the world.

"The 2015 World Cup in England generated net profits for the game of around £400million. I believe this proposed special event could generate a net profit for distribution to unions of £200-250m. This would be in addition to the £80m World Rugby support funding package already in place for the global game."