The introduction of a World Rugby Nations Championship in 2022 could see two divisions in Europe and two in the southern hemisphere.
According to The Times of London, the proposed tournament would involve the world’s top 12 countries — six from Europe and six from the southern hemisphere — playing each other once a year before a playoff series and final. It would not be held in a World Cup year, while a truncated event would be staged in years when the British & Irish Lions are touring.
If relegation is factored in, there will be two divisions in Europe and two in the southern hemisphere. The team that finishes bottom of the top-tier group of six would contest a playoff against the winner of the second tier.
The Six Nations would act as the European top tier, while Japan and Fiji would join the Rugby Championship, with the southern hemisphere second division comprising six teams from the Pacific Nations Cup and the Americas Championship.