Former England international Danny Care has backed plans for the new 12-a-side rugby tournament known as the World 12s.
The new World 12s tournament was announced during the week, which aims to kick off in August 2022 and feature some of the best players in the world, but its announcement has been met with plenty of criticism.
Tournament organisers hope that clubs will release their players before the start of the European season to play for one of the mooted eight clubs, but there are considerable concerns over player welfare in an already packed schedule.
Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care was speaking to RugbyPass about the tournament, and while he acknowledged that there are several issues to overcome, he is largely positive about the idea.
Danny Care on the World 12s.
“I can see issues with it, like player release, clubs and unions not wanting players to go and play it, but I do see the sport needing change,” Care said.
“If you watch the majority of international test matches at the moment, if New Zealand and France aren’t playing then it doesn’t really excite me, I’ll be honest with you.
“If there are any ways of trying to change that and inspire kids to pick up a rugby ball then I’m all for it. I tried to get my son to watch the Lions tour and he was like, ‘What is this?’ I’d like to think our club tries to play in a way that inspires kids to play.”
World Cup-winning former All Blacks Head Coach and World 12s Ambassador Steve Hansen has his say on #World12s 🇳🇿
— World 12s (@World12s) September 8, 2021
Plenty of fresh ideas in the new tournament.
The World 12s would represent some major changes to rugby union if it gets the go-ahead, with several new ideas set to be introduced to the sport.
Players will be auctioned off to one of the eight teams involved, somewhat similarly to the NFL’s draft system, while each team will represent no area in particular.
Each side will consist of six forwards and six backs, and each game will be 30 minutes long – 15 minutes per half. The first edition is set to be held in England, but the tournament aims to be hosted in a different country every year.
Several big names in the sport have backed the proposal, including former All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen and former Springboks head coach Jake White, but the tournament has received a largely negative response from fans so far.