Japan and Fiji will be invited to an expanded Rugby Championship, according to a report from English outlet the Times.
Following Japan’s success at this year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan, as well as Fiji’s status as one of the game’s sleeping giants, the SANZAAR unions (South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina) have reportedly agreed to include the two second tier sides in an expanded Rugby Championship.
SANZAAR are also believed to be contemplating a drastic change to the Rugby Championship schedule, with the expanded tournament to run parallel with Super Rugby.
Any expansion would come as a boost for either Fiji or Japan, both in desperate need of regular competition against rugby’s elite sides, following World Rugby’s aborted plans for a global championship – failing to convince Europe’s Six Nations to come on board.
The move would also surely be welcomed in Japan, with rugby thriving in part to the success of the current World Cup, despite losing their only Super Rugby side – the Sunwolves – from 2021.