Friday, November 23, 2007

International test fixture to be overhauled?

It's been a while since I posted. I am currently buried under work, and every week get a half-day to a day behind schedule, so rugby has been put on the backburner. I have been watching Heineken Cup matches, and meaning to write a big post-mortem on the World Cup, which is still pending. In the meantime, here's a juicy rumour, via Rugby Heaven:

Support growing for Test rugby shakeup

by Marc Hinton
November 23, 2007

The IRB will float a proposal to move rugby's traditional test match windows into one end-of-year time-frame at next week's ground-breaking conference in England - a move that has the conditional support of Australia among others.

All of rugby's key stakeholders will gather at a three-day IRB forum next week, with the aim of establishing a consensus over the way forward for international rugby.

At present test interaction between north and south takes place in two "windows", with northern hemisphere sides visiting the south in June/July and southern teams venturing north in November.

These are fitted in around established competitions such as the Tri-Nations and Six Nations.

But under one major proposal that will come up for discussion at the IRB conference in Woking, south-west of London, all test rugby outside of the established competitions would take place from September to November.

The added advantage this would have for the southern hemisphere nations is it would then allow them to move forward the start of the Super 14, and to extend the competition either by increasing the playoffs - a logical move - or even adding teams.

It would also allow for a more streamlined season, with the Super 14 flowing into the Tri-Nations which would then flow into the international component. It's a move that would also help create a more feasible off-season.

Read the rest.


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