World Rugby outlines Nations Championship concept to key stakeholders

Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper says it's time for the players to have a greater say over their future

Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper says it's time for the players to have a greater say over their future

The world's leading players have called for a seat on World Rugby's executive committee, hitting out at the sport's governing body for ignoring their views.

Worldwide rugby's leading players have demanded a seat at the negotiating table as the game's global body attempts to hammer out a way forward for the test programme.

World Rugby outlined its concept for the new tournament last Wednesday, which would start in 2022, saying it was "committed to the global advancement of rugby".

Private equity firm CVC Capital made a £500 million (US$657.9 million) bid for a 30 per cent share in the Six Nations, European rugby union's annual Test tournament, according to United Kingdom news outlet the Times.

As part of its rational, World Rugby hopes to persuade the unions that its proposed new format will give more nations a greater share of broadcast revenue in both hemispheres, while a report by the Daily Telegraph newspaper claims that an agreement was made without national body oversight to postpone independent rights negotiations.

"Within the original proposal, players would play a maximum of 13 matches if their team reaches the final, compared to an average of between 12 and 14 test matches presently".

It comes after the English Premiership and French Rugby League released a statement of their own criticising several aspects of the proposal.

World Rugby's Nations Championship plans include drafting in promotion and relegation for the Six Nations and the Rugby Championship.

Wales' Alun Wyn Jones says 'frustrations over the lack of player consultation have to be addressed'
JOSEPH JOHNSON FAIRFAX NZWales' Alun Wyn Jones says 'frustrations over the lack of player consultation have to be addressed'

PRL and LNR added the world governing body had broken an agreement which was reached in January 2017 about future plans for the global game running until 2032.

The leagues had hinted they might pursue legal action to protect their interests but today's announcement from World Rugby to remove semi-finals could make such a move less likely.

They stated that an extension to the worldwide rugby union calendar undermines an agreement made in 2017 for a "proportionate [international] structure" until 2032, and could have an adverse impact on other club and regional competitions, which they say have been excluded from World Rugby's negotiations.

"I would like to thank my union, competition and player representative colleagues for their candid, constructive and positive contributions", said Beaumont.

A commitment to invest in a Women's Nations Championship to accelerate the global competitiveness of the game.

"We are encouraged that the format revisions and robust financial model has been well received".

England captain Owen Farrell and Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton are among the game's biggest names to have warned of serious player welfare and integrity concerns over World Rugby's proposed new competition structure.

"We must work together to ensure the best possible future for our sport - a future where everyone is included and where everyone contributes to and benefits from a truly global game".

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