World Rugby has announced that they decided not proceed with the proposed World Rugby Nations Championship.
This comes after there was an outcry from the smaller test nations on the structure of the competition.
From the bigger test unions there was also a worry that the competition may take away from the tradition and history of competitions like the Six Nations and Rugby Championship.
In light of this, World Rugby can confirm that that it has taken the reluctant decision to discontinue plans for the Nations Championship after the required unanimous agreement by unions to enter into exclusive negotiations was not achieved by Wednesday’s deadline.
SANZAAR has come out and expressed it’s disappointment that the concept has been taken off the table.
All SANZAAR members – Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa signed the offer letters to enter in the next phase of due diligence.
They did have some concerns over elements of what was presented at the time mostly on the promotion/relegation aspect.
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.”
Rugby Australia also confirm in a statement that they were keen for this tournament to take shape which would have huge financial benefits for both the test unions and the players.
In some way it is a sad state of affairs when you have a opportunity to grow the sport with such a huge financial input and the members of World Rugby can not agree on a way forward, but in all right respect, no real consideration was given to the smaller test unions.
In my little world, which does not involved all the discussions that took place in this regard, the main focus must be for world rugby to first get things right with the smaller test unions before you give more to the unions that already gets the biggest chunk of them all.
Time will tell if there will be future development in this regard and where our game is going to, specially with the financial strains we see all over the world in the game.