SANZAAR and Six Nations in talks over 'global season'
SPOTLIGHT: SANZAAR and Six Nations have been working vigorously to deliver an ‘aligned’ global season.
Since the global COVID-19 coronavirus enforced lockdown, various figures and media outlets have called for the Northern and Southern Hemisphere to align their seasons.
Ireland great Rory Best voiced his opinion in April, stating ‘that switching the seasons would boost northern hemisphere nations’ chances of winning the World Cup as it would give them equal preparation time for the global showpiece.
While in February the International Rugby Players (IRP) also backed the idea of a global season that works for everyone.
It seems like the outcries have not fallen on deaf ears as SANZAAR and Six Nations confirmed that the two entities are working together in a bid to create “an aligned global calendar.”
In a joint statement, the governing bodies revealed that they have agreed on several ‘key principles’ that will guide their ongoing discussions around what the aligned calendar will look like.
These principles include mitigating overlaps between the club and international games, ensuring players are released for Test rugby, improve player welfare and the ‘narrative’ in club and international competitions.
Even though the details have yet to be iron out, one point of discussion will be to play the southern hemisphere Rugby Championship at the same time as the Six Nations.
*Also read: How to make a global season work
The key principles that have underpinned the work to date are;
- 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.
*Read the full statement below…