World Rugby are reportedly considering abandoning the current summer and November international test windows in favour of a world league format similar to that of the UEFA Nations League in football.
French publication Midi Olympique reported the news on Sunday as World Rugby look to do away with the usual test format, introducing a tournament which would be held across five dates in November beginning in 2020.
It’s reported that World Rugby vice-president Augustin Pichot suggested the idea first in July to New Zealand’s Steve Tew along with French counterpart Bernard Laporte and South Africa’s Jurie Roux.
The competition would no doubt be an exciting twist for rugby fans around the globe, with the world’s top 12 teams being involved and split into four groups of three.
There would be three group games with the top teams in each group progressing to a semi-final and then a final.
The hosting of the tournament would alternate between both the southern and the northern hemisphere, with each of the four groups being hosted by a different country.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the concept will be discussed at a World Rugby meeting in Sydney on Wednesday.
World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper has hinted a the possibility of change.
“At the moment 56 per cent of the games in international rugby in the world are friendlies and that’s what we’re looking at and maybe swinging it back towards more meaningful, competitive games and that may be even with interaction between north and south,” he said.
“There’s a number of models out there but I think ultimately (a North vs South competition) would help add more meaning to a Six Nations or a (Rugby) Championship so it could only be good news for everyone.”