British & Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland says if a global rugby calendar cannot be agreed now, it never will be.
The implementation of a global calendar has long been an ongoing issue, but negotiations to align the southern- and northern-hemisphere’s club and international windows have been accelerated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on rugby and is set to be discussed at a World Rugby meeting on Monday.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast, Gatland said if rugby union can’t synchronise its seasons after this pandemic, it never will.
‘If we don’t do it now we’re never going to do it. A lot of this has been talked about for a long time,’ he said.
‘If they can’t have a consensus when they’ve basically got a blank sheet of paper to start from, then there’s never going to be agreement.
‘It’s not going to be perfect for everyone. People have got to compromise a bit.’
Gatland is set to coach the Lions for a third time when they face South Africa in a tour currently scheduled to start in July 2021.
Organisers are considering moving the tour, which now clashes with the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games, to later in the year.
‘I think with the Lions it’s just being a little bit flexible,’ Gatland explained.
‘If we’ve got to go back a month or so I think we can cope with that if it’s the best decision for World Rugby in terms of a global season.’
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