Gregor Townsend has thrown his support behind the idea of combining World Rugby’s two international Test windows for an aligned single calendar.
World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont wants Tests between southern and northern hemisphere teams to take place in consecutive months with October and November the suggested option, and for there to be a competition at the heart of it.
For that to happen, the Six Nations (England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales) and Sanzaar (Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) have to come to an agreement. And it is believed productive talks have already taken place between the northern and southern hemisphere bodies.
Townsend says the move to reduce the number of international windows in rugby union’s calendar will benefit the players along with the clubs and the union boards.
‘I really hope we do get an aligned calendar,’ Townsend told BBC Radio 5 Live.
‘My preference is to move to the summer to align with the southern hemisphere and have a really competitive element in the October and November window, as we do with the Six Nations.
‘It seems like there is a will from a lot of people to make that happen. It would almost be like a World Cup, but you are flying to the southern hemisphere countries and then coming back to host southern hemisphere teams.
‘Having a competitive element – whether it is a cup or league – would add something tangible. It would be great to get the players together for a longer period.
‘Just now with the three Test windows – Six Nations, July and November – it has worked OK.
‘But from an international perspective to move July into October would be better for continuity and in terms of seeing the players develop, but also it works for the clubs, in that they don’t have to have three Test windows in the year.
‘Two Test windows means the clubs get a really good long run with their players.’
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