This week, we have seen talk of a proposed World League that will include Japan and the USA that could begin in 2020. It will not include the pacific nations, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji and others. The proposals would see the new competition set in stone for a ten year period. It may also include promotion and relegation to give sides like Russia, Georgia, Japan and others the opportunity to claim a place in this proposed new competition.
Earlier this week the International Players Council held a conference call that saw 9 captains from leading Test sides join chairman Jonathan Sexton in questioning the reality of setting up this competition. The competition is supposed to take place during the Test windows in November and December with the Semi Finals and Final in the June Test window.
The International Players Council have expressed concern that an already tight schedule will get even tighter and tougher if this proposal gets the green light. The Pacific Rugby Players Welfare has spoken of their dismay at the idea of this competition which may isolate teams like Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and more.
This idea is based around helping to grow the game and to also bring it to a bigger and wider Television audience in untapped Television markets in Japan and the USA. It also says any revenue made from it will be dispersed throughout all rugby playing nations.
Another down side will be the loss of interest in the World Cup which takes place every 4 years. It would mean more games for the so called bigger nations and would also see other sides missing out on these proposed new revenue streams.
Let’s hope that all sides will come together and work out a plan to bring all the relevant parties to the negotiating table and hopefully this whole situation can be brought to a successful conclusion. In my opinion this idea seems flawed and has been rushed to get it passed the winning post.
This proposal could have dire consequences for the game of Rugby if the issues highlighted by some of the World’s best players are not taken seriously, after all these men are currently playing the game in the current climate.
For now though, it is back to playing for all these players whether it’s with the club, or country. Time also for World Rugby to sit up and really take notice of the issues for and against this new competition being set in stone and not alone that the ring fencing of it if it was to happen would do more harm than good and will have consequences that will dictate where the game will go over the next ten or so years.
A lot of thinking and talking to be done by all sides before this situation will hopefully reach a suitable conclusion for all the stakeholders, those inside and outside the supposed chosen few……