World Rugby has set a deadline of this Friday for their Nations Championship proposal to be approved or rejected by the leading rugby nations.
The governing body has confirmed that both the Six Nations and Rugby Championship unions have up until Friday, 21 June to respond to their proposal, which would bring a radical change to the structure of the Test window.
All 10 unions that form Sanzaar and the Six Nations need to approve the proposal unanimously for World Rugby to move forward with its plans.
The proposed format, which would start in 2022, would see the Six Nations and Rugby Championship being supplemented by Tests between the southern- and northern-hemisphere teams, eventually resulting in a final.
Further, the Nations Championship would be underpinned by a second division made up of current tier-two nations, who would be given the chance of promotion against the Nations Championship’s bottom-placed team.
The Six Nations have been resistant to the idea of a promotion/relegation system due to the potential financial impact it could have on the home unions.
The Pacific unions of Fiji, Tonga and Samoa have criticised the proposal for favouring wealthier unions such as Japan and the USA despite both nations sitting below Fiji in the World Rugby rankings. They also fear the new structure would take away opportunities to face stronger opposition, given the November internationals will be restructured.
Following positive meetings with rugby’s major stakeholders in Dublin today, here is the proposed Nations Championship format. pic.twitter.com/7lOzBgHWC7
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) March 14, 2019
Photo: Gallo Images