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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Springboks, All Blacks to play Six Nations teams in new bi-annual World Rugby competition

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Rugby is to have a new bi-annual international competition from 2026, comprising a top division of 12 teams from the Six Nations and the southern hemisphere’s Rugby Championship, World Rugby said on Tuesday.

Two further countries — thought likely to be Japan and Fiji — will be invited to make up the dozen with matches being played in July and November.

There wil be a second division also made up of a dozen teams with relegation coming into operation in 2030.

World Rugby also announced that the men’s Rugby World Cup will enlarge from 20 nations to 24 for its next edition in Australia in 2027.

The sport’s governing body said in a statement the move would “provide more qualification opportunities for more teams and regional competitions”.

The move comes despite there being several mismatches in the pool stages of this World Cup.

Amongst the one-sided encounters were Romania, whipped 82-6 and 76-0 by Ireland and South Africa respectively, whilst Namibia went down 71-3 to New Zealand and 96-0 to hosts France.

The changes were announced ahead of Saturday’s final of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in Paris between defending champions South Africa and New Zealand.


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