The Fiji Rugby Union is very positive and is excited with the proposed format of the World Rugby Nations Championship that will not only include the Flying Fijians but also provide competitions for Tonga and Samoa with meaningful opportunities for promotion and relegation between the proposed three Tiers of the competition.
The FRU Chairman Commander Francis Kean and CEO, John O’Connor recently returned from the World Rugby high level meeting of Tier 1 Unions including Japan, Fiji and the international player representatives in Dublin last week where World Rugby outlined the details of a game-changing competition model that delivers a true pathway for all Unions through a three tiered format including a promotion and relegation system.
The World Rugby Nations Championship, earmarked to commence in 2022 would see Fiji in the southern hemisphere grouping of the 12 team Tier 1 conference. This is based on Fiji’s current world ranking.
Commander Kean thanked the Chairman of NZ Rugby and SANZAAR, Mr. Brent Impey and the SANZAAR Unions for their strong backing for Fiji’s inclusion in the Championship. “We are very thankful for the strong support from the SANZAAR Unions.”
Commander Kean also thanked Chairman Word Rugby, Sir Bill Beaumont and his team for introducing this new product and opening up pathways for emerging nations to be based on merit. The last rugby product introduced by World Rugby was the Rugby World Cup, which was staged in 1987 in New Zealand. Commander Kean stated this new competition is a breath of fresh air to opening up the sport and its earnest drive for rugby to become a truly global sport. “The pathways offered to rugby playing nations is highly commendable and I salute Sir Bill and his team at World Rugby for introducing this long overdue product.”
Commander Kean further added that World Rugby Tier one playing nations are at the crossroads of making a massive decision for the sport; to remain a closed sport or opening it up for opportunities to emerging rugby nations. He believes that a wise decision will be reached in the coming weeks.
Commander Kean also wanted to reassure our players with the current and ongoing discussions with World Rugby. He called on our national rugby players to ensure that we continue to perform on the field of play to guarantee our rugby rankings in the top 12 and a place in this new World Nations Rugby Championship by 2022.