Rugby: World Rugby proposes revised dates for Six Nations and Championship

General view of a rugby ball during a match warm up. PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES

DUBLIN (AFP) - World Rugby on Wednesday (July 22) proposed a temporary international calendar during which the 2020 Six Nations would be completed and the Rugby Championship staged.

The global governing body announced in a statement that the period between late October and mid-December had been recommended.

"In the north, this window will accommodate the postponed men's and women's Six Nations matches at the end of October, a rest weekend on Nov 7 and a programme of international matches involving the Six Nations and invited teams hosted in Europe from Nov 14 through to Dec 5," it said in a statement.

There is one full round of Six Nations matches to be played, although Ireland and Italy both have two games remaining.

World Rugby is proposing the southern hemisphere Rugby Championship - involving world champions South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina - is held over a six-week spell after the Six Nations ends.

The Championship looks set to be hosted in New Zealand after southern hemisphere governing body Sanzaar announced it would be their preferred destination.

"With Covid-19 restrictions continuing to impact international travel and borders across southern hemisphere unions, on an exceptional basis the Rugby Championship 2020 will be hosted in full in a single country over a reduced six-week period between Nov 7 and Dec 12," the statement added.

The recommendations, which will be tabled at a virtual meeting of the World Rugby Council on July 30, mean the traditional Tests between northern and southern powerhouses in Europe towards the end of the year will not take place.

A fierce debate has raged over potential schedules, with the English Premiership and French league as well as players' unions concerned over a possible fixture pile-up.

The sport has been in lockdown since March.

The English Premiership is due to resume in mid-August and the knockout stages of the European club competitions in September.

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