May 22, 2020 6:24:33 PM
The Six Nations and their southern hemisphere counterparts have announced they will move to the next stage of discussions over aligning the international calendar.
World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont has made the issue a priority after being re-elected this month, with ideas including a global competition taking place every two years and internationals being held in consecutive months in the autumn.
While the Six Nations is held in the first three months of the year, the Rugby Championship between Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina is normally held in late summer/early autumn.
In a statement with SANZAAR, the Six Nations said: “Even though there may be different preferences, from the outset the Nations have adopted a mindset that has sought to eliminate self-interest and recognise that the international and club game have shared mutual benefits that if approached and managed correctly can enable both to flourish.
“A further consultation process, in total transparency with unions, clubs and players, will commence as all parties work towards an aligned global calendar that can deliver a clear and coherent narrative.”
The principles of the talks included a pathway for emerging nations and the statement was welcomed by the global governing body.
A statement read: “World Rugby welcomes commitment from the Six Nations and SANZAAR for closer collaboration to ensure a more harmonious global calendar for all stakeholders.
“World Rugby has consistently supported and championed reform of the international calendar for the betterment of the sport as a whole, including all unions, international and club competition organisers and players.”
The statement added: “World Rugby looks forward to further close collaboration with all parties to reach the best outcome for the global game. A decision on any adjustment to the current global calendar and its international release windows will be considered and taken by the World Rugby Council.”