There are two, potentially global, issues in the rugby news at the moment that need to be addressed.
Last week Steve Tew, CEO of New Zealand Rugby, gave an ultimatum to the game’s governing board, World Rugby –
He said that he wants the issue regarding a global season for the game to be considered and to force this he will not schedule international matches beyond the 2019 World cup
“We need a different season structure than we have now and we’re not going to default to the current one. We’re going to force that issue. People will have to come to the table and we’ll negotiate individual matches in 2020 which wouldn’t be bad for a short period of time quite frankly.
Money is at the heart of the concern – as it is in most rugby matters these days.
Both Hemispheres are going to want a say in any move to a global season and there will be many areas of discussion – Bill Beaumont will have his hands full very early on trying to reach a compromise.
Any changes for the NH will affect the 6 Nations and the Premiership and Pro 12 clubs will want a say. They are already annoyed that the 6N gives problems for the league games with the best players away for 7 weeks. Nigel Wray had a rant in the Saracens programme on Saturday –
The SH are not happy that the June tours interrupt the Super 18.
Nothing will happen in the short-term – there is too much wrangling to go on first, not least about how the financial rewards will be distributed. But expect us to move to some sort of re-arranged programme from 2020 and possibly a global season in my lifetime (so not too long to wait then)
The other issue that came about in the last couple of days was the suggestion by Andrew Hore that the Welsh regions should join Super Rugby.
26.11.15 – Ospreys in the Community Foundation Launch –
Hore is leaving the Ospreys to take over at the Waratahs and wants to start discussions on expanding to, presumably, a Super 22 format – or more if the Irish Provinces want a look-in.
My view is that it is a non-starter and maybe Andrew Hore was simply being mischievous when he left this hand grenade under the Ospreys table.
Apart from the logistics the new Super 18 is already a convoluted and complex tournament that has drawn heavy criticism from many of the teams involved – especially in New Zealand.
This was an interesting response to the suggestion of adding the Welsh regions –
Inevitably in a professional game, there will be many changes to the laws, formats, tours and season structures – my view is that Northern Hemisphere sides joining Super Rugby is unlikely to be one of them