Sensational details of planned global calendar revealed
INTERVIEW: World Rugby’s brains trust is ready to rip up the scrip and start over – culminating in a sensational new global calendar.
This was revealed by South African Rugby Chief Executive Officer Jurie Roux in a video conference with the media on Monday.
In a lengthy and extensive media briefing, Roux admitted SA Rugby is considering changing the dates of a three-Test series against the British and Irish Lions next year in order to assist with making the planned global calendar a reality.
“The time [for the B&I Lions tour] is still fixed for where it is,” he said of the July 3 to August 7 safari to South Africa in 2021.
“There is a slight chance, [in order] to alight with the rest of the global calendar, that it might move to either a September/October or October/November window,” Roux added.
“That is the only hurdle for getting the global calendar across the line.
“We don’t want to hinder that, we want to assist.
“The [proposed] global calendar has been shared with all clubs and unions around the world.
“We [World Rugby] have a catch-up meeting next week.
“It will probably be decided by July 1, so that everybody can start doing their planning.”
Roux also revealed some sensational details and proposal around the new global calendar, including the possibility that the Northern Hemisphere might move their club competitions to a new time slot.
(Continue reading below the video … )
“We have been working really hard on a global calendar,” he said, adding: “COVID-19 is doing what we as administrators have not been able to do for 130 years – that is getting the world [global] calendar aligned.
“Because there is no plan at the moment, no script at the moment, it is actually a very easy process to go through.
“All competitions are on hold, all agreements are being renegotiated and very few of us know what the world will look like post-2020.”
He revealed that the Northern Hemisphere is willing to move from winter rugby to summer rugby.
“They will either play the club competitions from December to July, or from February to September.
“There is a potential move for the Rugby Championship from the end of the year to the beginning of the year, along with the Six Nations.
“Super Rugby, depending on when the Rugby Championship is, could start after the Rugby Championship at the beginning of the year.
“If it [Rugby Championships] doesn’t move and it stays in its [current] slot, it [Super Rugby][ will start in February so that we are in time to finish for the end of the year.
“The international calendar [time slot for Tests] is in October and November, with the move of the World Cups to that same [October/November] window and also the move of the British and Irish Lions tour into that same window in the future.”
Roux said the year-end international series will have a different look and feel to it.
“The current calendar that we have available, up until 2030, around inbound tours will be thrown away.
“You will have England, Wales and Italy coming to us [South Africa] in October, we will all get on a plane and head back north. We will [then] play Ireland, Scotland and France.
“It will have the form of an international series.
“After that, the two best teams will possibly play if a Final at Twickenham.
“Those are the kind of ideas being thrown around.”
Media speculation suggested the Six Nations and Rugby Championship could take place in March and April.
Roux hoped two Tests against Scotland and one with Georgia, originally scheduled for July, might be played during October.
There was also talk of Australia hosting a single-round Rugby.
“The possibility of playing the Rugby Championship in a single venue ‘bubble’ has also been workshopped,” Roux said.
“But those all remain unconfirmed and reliant on factors outside of our control.”
He said in the event that none of the planned ‘international events’ take place, they have some “exciting” options they have been working on.
Roux said a November tour by the Springboks, consisting of Tests in Italy, Ireland, France and Wales, was still on the cards.