World Rugby has released details of the post-2019 global calendar, which it says will increase matches between Tier One and Two nations by 39 percent.
As part of the new calendar, the June Test window will be shifted to July, while it also includes provision for Tier One tours to the Pacific Islands, Japan, Canada, the U.S., Georgia and Romania.
Rugby union’s global governing body released details of the new game’s new schedule, which will run from 2020 until 2032, on Thursday afternoon.
As part of the new calendar, which has been approved by World Rugby’s Executive Committee, the June Test window has been shifted in order to allow Super Rugby to run an uninterrupted season.
The move is also designed to help southern hemisphere countries prepare for their international programme.
The windows for the November Tests and the Rugby World Cup will both move forward by a week.
Emerging rugby nations — including those mentioned above — will be integrated into the July and November windows, with World Rugby setting a goal of 110 Tier One vs. Two matches over the 12-year calendar.
France and England are also pencilled in to tour the Pacific Islands in this period, while Japan, Canada and the U.S. will host tours. Georgia and Romania will host matches against Six Nations countries during the July window.
World Rugby’s rankings after the next two World Cups will determine which Tier Two countries are integrated to “ensure top emerging teams at the time are provided with Tier One opportunities based on merit”.
On releasing the new calendar, World Rugby insisted that player welfare was paramount and in the years following World Cups SANZAAR nations [those that compete in the Rugby Championship] will only host two July Tests.
World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said: “Agreement on an optimised global calendar that provides certainty and sustainability over the decade beyond Rugby World Cup 2019 represents an historic milestone for the global game.
“But more than that, this agreement has player welfare and equity at heart, driving certainty and opportunities for emerging rugby powers and laying the foundations for a more compelling and competitive international game, which is great for unions, players and fans.
“This process has been complex and there was no silver bullet. Compromise has been achieved by all stakeholders in the spirit of collaboration and I would like to thank my union, professional league and club colleagues for their full contribution and commitment to reaching an agreement that will ultimately benefit the whole game.”
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World Rugby reveals details of new global calendar
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