Nations Championship: Former Samoa star slams World Rugby
REACTION: With World Rugby’s proposed Nations Championship facing a decisive vote of approval this Friday, former Samoa international Dan Leo has shown his outrage on Twitter.
The newly formatted international competition needs the unanimous backing from the ten unions that comprise the Six Nations and the Rugby Championship, to get the green light for 2022.
Since the new concept was proposed in March, it has received fierce criticism after it initially looked to exclude the Pacific Islands from the league, in favour of the wealthier unions such as the USA and Japan. This was despite Fiji being above both of those countries in the world rankings, as well as Italy and Argentina.
The rugby world seemed to rally behind current and former players from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga, and World Rugby were forced to alter the proposed format to accommodate for nations that are highly ranked.
However, many felt that it still did not go far enough, as many emerging Tier 2 nations from the Pacific Islands, as well as Georgia, would be completely neglected from the world stage.
With the deciding vote happening this Friday, Leo cannot believe that this “blatant cash grab” is still on the table after the overwhelming criticism it received when it was announced.
The 39-cap international has accused World Rugby of being out of touch, and not aware of the rugby public’s desire to protect the nations that are likely to suffer from this world league.
Beggars belief this blatant cash grab ‘world league’ is still being considered after such public backlash last time@worldrugby proving how out of touch they are with rugby public desire to protect Tier 2 & values of the game, now trying to push it through the back door 🤬 https://t.co/v8pzxCGnYJ
— Daniel Leo (@danleo82) June 18, 2019
Leo has been one of the most vociferous players leading the backlash against World Rugby’s new scheme, and he knows that he has the backing of thousands of rugby fans across the globe.
With the World Cup only a few months away, many Tier 2 nations will get the chance to prove how much they provide to rugby on the world stage, and all the more proof why so many are against the Nations Championship being approved.
The former Wasps forward is Director of the Pacific Rugby Players Welfare organisation, and recently released the first episode of the Oceans Apart Series, focusing on life after rugby for one of the most talented and exciting players to grace the field – Fiji’s Rupeni Caucaunibuca.