Rugby

World Rugby Looks Like It Might Collapse Without A Global Calendar Agreement

World Rugby Looks Like It Might Collapse Without A Global Calendar Agreement

Rugby as we know it is unsustainable. The struggles have been evident ever since the breakup of the Heineken Cup. The financial struggles of the entire rugby world outside of England and France have been well documented, and things need to change.

It looks like rugby is heading to a climax however, because there are no international fixtures scheduled after the World Cup in 2019 via the Times. World Rugby organises the fixture list for all rugby countries, but no country has agreed to their proposals for anything after 2019 because every union is arguing for change.

The majority of unions are in agreement that a global calendar is necessary for rugby to continue - but no one can agree about who will have to change, and the disribution of money.

Southern Hemisphere unions want the European season to move so that it starts from October to June - with international windows in July and December. They are also contending that they deserve a share of the income generated from their tours to the European nations.

But, European nations don't want to move the June window - and some think it should be scrapped altogether. They're main area of contention is to make sure that there is no domestic games being played at the same time as internationals.

The most interesting proposal being mentioned is a new World Club championship. Once every four years, Super Rugby and the Champions Cup would stop at the semi-final stage and move to a world quarter-finals. That would be something that would sell, but isn't feasible under the current calendar.

Of course, players are starting to get involved too. The IRPA - international rugby players' association is trying to get a mandatory 12-week period of rest between seasons. Currently there are nine weeks between seasons - not including pre-season.

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The perceived wisdom is for the domestic season to be reduced - but that has it's own problems. The Top 14 and Premiership are getting so financially powerful that they are almost dwarfing international competition. The Top 14 wants to expand - not contract - even though the French federation want to reduce the tournament to 12 teams.

There's still a long way to go with this - but like with the advent of the Champions Cup - there's now a deadline for unions to join together and solve this before the game descends into farce. A World Rugby council will meet in Dublin next week to meet on the issue, as the new leadership of World Rugby is sworn in.

Be sure to read Owen Slot's fantastic breakdown of the issue in the Times.

See Also: Northern Hemisphere Needs A Global Rugby Calendar To Bridge The Gap

See Also: The Six Nations Set For Major Change If A Number Of Radical French Proposals Go Ahead

Picture credit: Roberto Bregani / SPORTSFILE

Conor O'Leary
Article written by
"That's what." - She.

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