World Rugby has reportedly extended its Nations Championship deadline to 5 April in a bid to keep the proposed tournament alive.
Friday was the original deadline by which all 12 nations had to commit to the competition.
According to The Australian newspaper, that deadline was extended after it was determined that the Six Nations members were preparing to vote against the tournament.
‘It just makes so much sense for everyone to agree to step into the next stage, because there is no obligation other than working for two months to see if the game can’t nut a deal out,’ Brett Robinson, a World Rugby executive member and deputy chairman of Rugby Australia, told The Australian.
‘If at the end of it people still want to walk away, they can still walk away. But for one of the biggest moments in the recent history of our sport, to not give it every chance would be ridiculous.’
The sticking point for the northern hemisphere remains promotion/relegation, where one of the Six Nations members would be in danger of going down for two years because the competition would be played every second year. In particular, Ireland, Scotland and Italy are against the model of promotion/relegation.
World Rugby’s proposed Nations Championship structure:
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