The Six Nations could be played in the summer.
With no test matches scheduled to take place after the 2019 World Cup, and the New Zealand Rugby Union threatening to negotiate individual tests for the All Blacks beyond 2020, rugby appears to be sleep walking toward crisis.
Although numerous commentators have previously argued for the implementation of a global calender as a means of solving the current impasse, those representing the various national unions in the northern and southern hemispheres have failed to come an agreement.
Consequently, the establishment of a new global calender will be top of Bill Beaumont’s list of priorities as World Rugby’s new Chairman.
However, in order to create a standardised season, both hemisphere’s will have to compromise, something Beaumont alluded to in an interview with The Times.
The game has changed undoubtedly, and you have got to keep moving. I think you have got to be prepared to look at it. That could well be a solution. Everyone has to take a look at it.
I know John Feehan [Six Nations Chief Executive] will probably be quite reluctant to do so. It’s a question of compromise.
While Beaumont did not delve into specifics in the interview, he did hint at starting the Six Nations in April rather than February. Although Feehan previously told Sky Sports that keeping the tournament in its traditional February-March slot was “non-negotiable”, the southern hemisphere unions would welcome the move.
Concluding the Six Nations in May, would in turn see summer tours begin in July rather than June, and lessen the disruption on the Super Rugby season.
Despite numerous calls for a system of relegation and promotion to be introduced between the Six Nations and European Nations Cup, Beaumont appeared the rule out any such prospect, telling the Irish Times, “The Six Nations is an entity with equal shareholders so it is not an easy fix regarding promotion and relegation”.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena
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