Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Nations offered 5 bln pound carrot for new global league

Nations offered 5 bln pound carrot for new global league

"Everyone, not just the established teams, will benefit, accelerating the development and competitiveness of the global game", the former England captain added.

The European rugby powers also favoured accepting an offer of $963m (£500m) from private equity company CVC Capital for a 30 per cent stake in the Six Nations, NZ Herald reports.

World Rugby released the proposed format on Thursday, which would see the Six Nations teams continue as normal early in the year, while two additional teams will be added to the Rugby Championship according to the world rankings.

"Creating a meaningful season-long competition out of the current patchwork of events and tournaments has an obvious appeal as well as proving a clear development pathway for emerging nations, which speaks directly to one of the fundamental goals of World Rugby", he told Sport24.

"This is a pivotal time for the game".

SA Rugby Union chief executive Jurie Roux and president Mark Alexander are attending the World Rugby Council meeting in Dublin, where the proposed Nations Championship is being discussed.

"The creation of a new championship, outside of Rugby World Cup years, has been the focus of discussions with World Rugby for several months and the issues are very complex.Our challenge has been to find balance between a model that delivers what fans are demanding, with the welfare of all players, growing the commercial strength of our competition and ensuring we are providing a pathway for other nations".

Among other announcements made by World Rugby, the proposed new format would be "underpinned by a record commercial partnership" with marketing company Infront, which they say will guarantee nearly £5 billion ($6.6 billion/€5.9 billion) for investment in the sport over 12 years.

"Only by keeping the best interests of the global game at heart will we be able to achieve something truly impactful for the future success and sustainability of the game‚" said Beaumont.


"It would also create new and potentially lucrative opportunities for the sport as well as a single point of purchase for existing and new broadcasting players".

"But there are a number of due diligences to be performed and questions to be answered before anything can come to fruition".

French federation boss Bernard Laporte gave hope when he said: "The meetings were positive and constructive and there are still details to be worked through, but France believes in this concept for the good of the game globally".

World Rugby promised to work with the International Rugby Players (IRP) and leading figures in the club game on the format, while investing in a Women's Nations Championship.

But Infront's statement emphasised the opportunity its own offer would provide to unions and stakeholders throughout the global game.

"Our support will enable World Rugby and its member unions around the globe to elevate the game further whilst also providing long-term financial security, across all regions and levels", he said.

Criticism of the original proposals from the southern hemisphere centred on the potential for player burnout and the lack of potential access through promotion and relegation for emerging nations not included in the initial 12-team league.

"We now have a strong proposal for a World Rugby Nations Championship that we will need to take back to our stakeholders".

Following complaints that the new structure would place more strain on player welfare, the governing body says it has agreed to reduce its proposed schedule by omitting a semi-final stage, effectively cutting the number of Test matches each team plays per year down to a maximum of 12.

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