Global rugby calendar closer to reality

Sanzaar and the Six Nations have confirmed they are working closely together to develop proposals for an aligned global calendar.

The suspension of rugby due to the coronavirus pandemic has given the world's top rugby nations the chance to address one of the biggest issues in the game.

A global season would see tournaments like the Six Nations (currently played in January-March) and the Rugby Championship (August-October) held at the same time of the year.

A joint statement from Sanzaar and the Six Nations on Friday read: '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 further consultation process, in total transparency with unions, clubs and players, will commence as all parties work towards an aligned global calendar that can deliver a clear and coherent narrative.

'The nations, together with other key stakeholders, remain open to shape the options that have been developed in an effort to resolve an issue that has held the game back for many years and are committed to putting rugby on a progressive path.'

Key principles that have underpinned work to date:

  • Significantly mitigate overlaps between club and country fixtures.

  • Better aligned player release windows for players, stakeholders and competitions.

  • Improve player welfare.

  • Improve narrative and competitiveness of international and domestic competitions around clear windows.

  • Define clear high-performance pathways for emerging nations through the delivery of an internationally more inclusive game.

  • Evolve competition structures that are underpinned with enhanced commercial offerings.

  • Restore public faith in the core values of rugby and showing strong collective leadership in the best interests of the game.