Calls for 'level-playing field' between hemispheres
SPOTLIGHT: Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has called for rugby’s two hemispheres to align to form one global season.
The European term runs from September to June while the campaign in countries such as world champions South Africa begins at the start of the calendar year and ends in late November.
Test windows for countries from either side of the world are currently set for July and November.
“Everyone would like to see a level-playing field between hemispheres,” he said.
“At the moment when the southern hemisphere comes north the last match of a tour is tough, when for the northern hemisphere it’s a good time to play the south as we’re fresh.
“If we would get the seasons to start and finish at the same time that would be a fair way of looking at it,” he added.
Kiwi Pivac, who replaced countryman Warren Gatland after last year’s World Cup, said the disruption to sport caused by the coronavirus pandemic will offer the chance of a rethink to the schedule.
“I think now we do have that opportunity, I think the game might look a little bit different, certainly in the short term post-COVID-19,” he said.
“I think it’s a great opportunity and I think the global season is probably one we’d all like to see put under some scrutiny and see if we can up with something that is suitable for both northern and southern hemisphere rugby.”
Pivac’s thoughts were echoed by newly re-elected World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont.
“It’s really important that we don’t have any major issues with the north and the south, we have to pull together for the betterment of the game,” he told World Rugby’s website.
“We have to look at the play schedules. We have to look at whether the July and November windows are working. There could well be an opportunity now with coronavirus that we can maybe look at these windows,” he added.