World Rugby has discontinued their Nations Championship plans having failed to gain unanimous support from the countries involved in the Six Nations.
The proposed structure, which they hoped to launch in 2022, would have seen the Six Nations winners take on the winners of the expanded six-team Rugby Championship.
The governing body says that plans were scrapped due to “a lack of consensus on key issues, particularly the timing and format of promotion and relegation.”
“World Rugby can confirm 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.”
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) June 19, 2019
In a statement World Rugby said that the core objective of the Nations Championship “was to secure a strong and sustainable financial and competition model for unions, provide for the first time a meaningful competition pathway for all emerging nations, further inject excitement into the international game for fans and broadcasters and develop new markets for the betterment of all.”
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said that the body would continue to look at ways to “increase the competitiveness of the international game.
“World Rugby undertook this important project with the best interests of the global game at heart in line with our vision to grow the sport as a game for all. While we are naturally disappointed that a unanimous position on the Nations Championship could not be achieved among our unions, we remain fully committed to exploring alternative ways to enhance the meaning, value and opportunity of international rugby for the betterment of all unions.
“This includes our continued commitment to competition and investment opportunities for emerging nations to increase the competitiveness of the international game with a view to possible Rugby World Cup expansion in 2027.
“I would like to thank all stakeholders for their detailed consideration and engagement, World Rugby’s executive team for their hard work and Infront Sports and Media for their full and ongoing support of our vision to grow rugby’s global footprint.”