Teams at the Rugby World Cup could be facing a major problem when it comes to preparation after an insurance wrangle between the Premiership Rugby Limited and World Rugby.
The Guardian report that Premiership Rugby Limited will stop players from joining up with their national team squads until mid-August.
That could mean teams would only have their full compliment of players 35 days before the opening game of the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year.
Fiji would potentially be without the likes of Leicester’s Campese Ma’afu, Newcastle Falcons trio Tevita Cavubati, Nemani Nagusa and Vereniki Goneva, while London Irish prop Manasa Saulo may be in the Premiership should they secure promotion.
Samoa would also be hit severely while Tonga’s preparations would be dented by the absence of five of their key players who play in the Premiership.
There are also sizeable contingents of players from South Africa, Georgia, Russia and Italy playing in the Premiership, among others.
Among those who could be most affected are Scotland and Wales who have several of their prominent players in the Premiership.