Rugby Championship's dates revealed
BREAKING NEWS: World Rugby has confirmed the dates for the revamped international calendar for this year – including the Rugby Championships, Six Nations and other Tests.
World Rugby, in a statement, said the express objective the new dates is to “optimise recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic” at all levels.
Temporary windows have been determined – following extensive and productive consultation between World Rugby, international competitions, national unions, their professional club competitions.
“Recognising the importance of a balanced and shared compromise among all stakeholders, a temporary international window between October 24 and December 5 has been recommended,” the statement said.
In the north, this window will accommodate the postponed Six Nations matches at the end of October, a rest weekend on November 7.
There will also be a programme of international matches involving the Six Nations and invited teams hosted in Europe from November 14 through to December 5.
The situation is a bit more complicated the Southern Hemisphere, where COVID-19 restrictions are continuing to impact on international travel.
The Rugby Championship, however, will be hosted in full in a single country – most likely New Zealand – over a reduced six-week period between November 7 and December 12.
“Special measures will be implemented to deal with any government-required quarantine period prior to the start of the competition,” World Rugby said.
The rescheduling of the domestic, European and international calendars will accommodate the ability for clubs to have access to their star Southern Hemisphere players for the completion of the postponed and rescheduled 2019/20 seasons at a time in which they would have ordinarily been on international duty in August and September.
“The recommendation to temporarily change the Regulation 9 windows will be tabled at a virtual meeting of the World Rugby Council on July 20,”the statement said.
“Subject to approval, the full schedule of matches will be announced by the respective union and international competition owners in due course.
“The current Regulation 9 windows will return to normal after December 13.”
All parties remain committed to continued dialogue regarding long-term men’s and women’s calendar reform that harmonises the international and club environments for the betterment of all.