Pichot's Brainchild Threatens World Order

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26 September 2018

The custodians of tier one rugby union nations were made to feel more than a little uncomfortable this week after World Rugby announced it had begun exploring “ways to inject further significance and excitement into the July and November windows and optimise the commercial model for all” within the framework of the San Francisco agreement.

After agreeing to the structure of an international calendar from 2020 to 2032 in San Francisco in March 2017, World Rugby are looking to re-balance the books by replacing annual June and November tours a by a meaningful tournament. One pundit described the plan as “The Six Nations meets the Rugby Championship with the Pacific Island teams thrown into a 12-countries mix”.

World Rugby vice-chairman Agustin Pichot is looking at bringing a larger share of the benefits to nations who rarely host tours, particularly the Pacific Island teams.

Pichot said: “It is critical that we must continually evolve to ensure appeal and relevance within a rapidly-evolving global fan, broadcast and commercial environment.

"The strategies that we have been exploring set out to do just that, providing a potential blueprint for essential growth, furthering opportunities for emerging nations and growing commercial value for all.”

Meanwhile the RFU are said to be “perplexed” that such discussions had taken place. The governing body wouldn’t take kindly to a threat to their hosting of £10m-per-match autumn games.

The Guardian quoted an un-named RFU spokesperson: “We are a bit perplexed at these apparent developments and ideas

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