The Covid-19 enforced shutdown of sport may help rugby solve one of its biggest issues.
Southern hemsiphere rugby body SANZAAR and the Six Nations have
entered a consultation process aimed at creating an aligned global rugby
calendar “in total transparency with unions, clubs and players”.
The hope is to have international windows that are aligned between
the northern and southern hemisphere, to lessen the overlap between club
and country fixtures and free players from domestic commitments for
“Even though there may be different preferences, from the outset the
Nations have adopted a mindset that has sought to eliminate
self-interest and recognise that the international and club game have
shared mutual benefits that if approached and managed correctly can
enable both to flourish,” a statement said.
One point of discussion will be to play the southern hemisphere Rugby
Championship at the same time as the Six Nations in a designated window
period. Currently both overlap with the European club season.
The hope is that a global calendar will “improve player welfare” and
“improve narrative and competitiveness of International and Domestic
Competitions around clear windows”.
The statement added the two parties wanted to, “restore public faith
in the core values of rugby and show strong collective leadership in the
best interests of the game”.
SANZAAR is made up of world champions South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina, while the Six Nations competition contains England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France and Italy.