March 16, 2017 / 1:28 PM / 7 months ago

Rugby-New World Rugby calendar to boost tier-two nations

LONDON, March 16 (Reuters) - World Rugby has promised more tests between top and second-tier nations and announced changes to the timing of international windows in a new global calendar to run from 2020 to 2032.

The current June international window will move to the first three weeks of July to allow the Southern Hemisphere club championship, Super Rugby, to be completed prior to the matches.

There will also be a minimum of a 39 percent increase in matches between top and second-tier nations over that period, including a commitment from England and France to tour the Pacific Islands.

“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,” World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said in a statement from the organisation on Thursday. (Reporting By Nick Said; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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