Sanzaar expressed their disappointment that World Rugby’s proposal for a Nations Championship has officially been taken off the table.
World Rugby confirmed that plans for the Nations Championship have been discontinued after the required unanimous agreement by unions to enter into exclusive negotiations was not achieved by Wednesday’s deadline.
The Sanzaar member Unions – Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa – despite having some concerns over elements of what was presented, most notably promotion/relegation, had all signed the offer letters to enter into the next phase of due diligence with the aim of working through the concerns with all interested parties.
Sanzaar chairman Brent Impey stated: ‘The Nations Championship was a golden opportunity to grow the game internationally but is seemingly lost. Sanzaar remains convinced that such a revamped international calendar is the right course of action supported by professional cross-border competitions such as Super Rugby and the various European premierships.
‘All Sanzaar Unions signed the letter of offer with World Rugby to continue negotiations. Sanzaar has been consistent in its support of the concept as we believed that this was an important decision for the future of the world game.
‘Furthermore, the ability to have promotion/relegation in both hemispheres as proposed by World Rugby is a principle position with which Sanzaar agreed. That would have created a meaningful pathway and aspirations for emerging nations.
‘While World Rugby has led discussions around the Nations Championship concept, Sanzaar and its member unions have been in constant and positive dialogue with our broadcast partners to secure the future of Super Rugby and The Rugby Championship.’
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