World Rugby outlined its vision for the future of international rugby, including the proposed Nations Championship, during a meeting with stakeholders in Dublin on Thursday.
The original concept for the Nations Championship, which reportedly proposed a 12-team global league – including the Six Nations, Rugby Championship teams as well as Japan and the USA – received pushback from fans, players and unions.
There were concerns over the lack of inclusion of the Pacific Island nations, as well as the lack of player engagement and player welfare.
At the meeting of unions, competition owners and international player representatives, World Rugby outlined details of a new competition model that entails a three-division format and a system of promotion and relegation.
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
World Rugby also outlined revisions to the original proposal presented to unions in September 2018, following feedback from key stakeholders, including leading players and club competitions.
The original schedule was reduced by removing the semi-final stage, meaning that players will now play 11 Nations Championship matches, not including the final.
World Rugby also re-affirmed its commitment to work with International Rugby Players and the leading domestic club competitions to optimise the model.
Photo: EPA/Juan Ignacio Roncoroni