World League set to change face of international rugby?

Bill Beaumont (AP)
Bill Beaumont (AP)

Cape Town - Reports suggest that a World League could see international rugby completely revamped from as early as 2020.

According to a report in the New Zealand Herald, 12 international rugby nations - including the Springboks - are understood to be interested in pursuing the product, which could be signed off as early as next month. 

New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Italy, France, Japan and the USA are the other 11 sides, meaning that all the Pacific Island sides - Fiji, Samoa and Tonga - would be excluded. 

The article adds that each participating nation would stand to earn between $10 and $14 million (R95-133 million) per season in broadcast deals. 

The Rugby Championship would still take place each year, but would become a single round competition that would see Japan and the USA added.

With scheduling and travel the obvious stumbling blocks to the idea, the Six Nations sides would all travel to the southern hemisphere in June or July to play three randomly allocated Tests.

The southern hemisphere nations would then travel north to play three other northern hemisphere nations in November, taking their total number of Test matches in a calendar year to 11 before the top four teams on that log play semi-finals and a final. 

If the World League materialises, it would be the biggest change international rugby has faced since the dawn of the professional era. 

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