World 12s tournament torpedoed – report

Reports in England suggest that the launch of the newly proposed World 12s tournament has been sunk as World Rugby has refused to sanction another new model of the game.

According to Telegraph Sport, Premiership Rugby, the LNR – which represents the French Top 14 – as well as the Vodacom United Rugby Championship wrote to World Rugby strongly opposing the tournament.

Backed by the likes of Steve Hansen, Jake White and former New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew, the World 12s targeted 192 of the world’s best players to be divided between eight franchises via an auction.

They would play an abbreviated format of the game in teams involving six forwards and six backs, contesting 30-minute matches, with new rules aimed at improving problem areas such as the breakdown and scrum.

Organisers were aiming to launch the inaugural men’s tournament in England in August 2022, with the first women’s event taking place a year later. They hoped £250 million ($345m) will be generated by the competition over five years, while also attracting new fans to the sport.

However, despite strong interest from players themselves, it seems the idea could now be dropped before it has been properly launched.


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Dylan Jack