World Rugby welcomes positive global calendar talks
Last Updated: 15/06/20 9:13pm
World Rugby has welcomed positive talks between international and club officials in proposals to align the northern and southern hemisphere seasons.
The sport is hoping to use the coronavirus pandemic hiatus as an opportunity for positive change with proposals including moving July internationals to October to create a longer block of Autumn fixtures.
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Furthermore, the Six Nations could be moved back to March and April and be played alongside the Southern Hemisphere's Rugby Championship.
World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont also wants to create a new Nations Championship which would be played across the two windows, with the hope a big-money TV deal would improve international rugby's commercial revenue.
As for the elite club season, that would undergo the most radical change, running from January to August which would reduce the amount of interruption caused by internationals.
It would also enable the Premiership to conclude the current campaign and break before the start of the 2020-21 season.
The new global calendar could be in place as soon as next season with a meeting of 'The Professional Game Forum' on Monday understood to be positive.
However, the prospect of playing rugby in the summer months as well as issues over player welfare and workload could mean an interim season may be required before it can be fully functional.
Following Monday's meeting, World Rugby said: "All stakeholders believe that meaningful reform of the international calendar is necessary in a much-changed post COVID-19 environment to revitalise the global game and deliver much-needed alignment between international and club rugby with fewer overlaps and enhanced player rest periods.
"The proposed long-term calendar reform will also enable meaningful pathways for emerging nations on a global and regional scale and the development of a global international women's competition model with defined windows that do not overlap with the men's competitions."
The governing body also stated a vote would be held on June 30 regarding the proposed completion of the Six Nations this October following its postponement due to coronavirus.