World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont says no decision has been made over controversial plans for a World Rugby League which has led to talk of Pacific Island nations boycotting the World Cup.
The governing body is said to be proposing a revamped international calendar, with the introduction of an annual 12-team competition starting next year.
Nations competing in the Six Nations and Rugby Championship, as well as another two top-ranked sides are claimed to be part of the new-look league, prompting concerns that the likes of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga will be overlooked.
Beaumont says nothing has been finalised and he will host a meeting to discuss the proposals this month.
I am convening a meeting of Chairmen and CEOs from tier one unions, Fiji and Japan, and player representatives in Dublin later this month to consider the way forward for an annual international competition. Full statement attached. pic.twitter.com/HG1bl22Bfp
— Sir Bill Beaumont (@BillBeaumont) March 3, 2019
“In light of continued speculation and commentary, I am convening a meeting of chairmen and CEOs from tier one unions, Fiji and Japan and player representatives in Dublin later this month to consider the way forward for an annual international competition.” said the former England captain.
“Contrary to reports, no decisions have been made. This is an ongoing and complex process with multiple stakeholders, some with differing views.
“Only by working together in the interests of the global game can we achieve something truly impactful in this important area for rugby’s future global growth. I look forward to a constructive debate with my colleagues and productive outcomes.”
World Rugby Player of the Year Johnny Sexton and New Zealand captain Kieran Read are among those to voice their disapproval over the potential changes, with fears about the workload put on players.
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