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Impediment for a global season to move

Six Nations to be played at end of northern winter

by Lynn McConnell

May 22

Pressure on World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont to change his stance is likely to see the Six Nations tournament moved from its usual place on the rugby calendar.
Beaumont had said after his re-election as World Rugby chairman, ‘Why would you want to move it?’ but The Rugby Paper is reporting the tournament will take place in late-April or early-May.

It will be played at the same time as the Rugby Championship in the southern hemisphere, creating the foundations of an aligned global season.
As a result, clubs in the northern hemisphere and franchises in the southern hemisphere will be able to run their respective competitions without losing their international players.
Another benefit would be better-aligned player release windows for players, stakeholders and competitions while the other benefit would be aimed towards improving player welfare.
World Rugby had said in a statement that the nations had ‘adopted a mindset that has sought to eliminate self-interest and recognise that the international-club game had shared mutual benefits that, if approached and managed properly, can enable both to flourish’.

Pressure has been on to move the Six Nations which had been the central impediment to the introduction of a global season.

Former British & Irish Lions and Wales wing Gerald Davies has for several years believed the change should be made. He felt the Six Nations should be the natural peak of the European season which could be achieved by moving it until later.

The benefit of the change was that it would allow domestic competitions to run without disruption for Test matches and would provide more structure to seasons.
While the Six Nations had been regarded as a non-negotiable in February and March, the situation had changed and would continue to change.

“The players should have a clearer sense of their season,” he said.

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© 2020 Lynn McConnell

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