July 22, 2020 / 4:35 PM / 20 days ago

World Rugby proposes temporary international calendar

(Reuters) - World Rugby has recommended a revised international calendar following the disruption due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the sport’s ruling body said on Wednesday

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - England v Ireland - Twickenham Stadium, London, Britain - February 23, 2020 General view outside the stadium before the match Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

A temporary international window between Oct. 24 and Dec. 5 has been proposed by World Rugby’s executive committee.

The Six Nations Championship can resume at the end of October and a new set of international matches involving the northern hemisphere teams can be played in Europe from Nov. 14 to Dec. 5.

With uncertainties surrounding international travel in the southern hemisphere, the committee has proposed this year’s Rugby Championship is hosted in one country over a six-week period between Nov. 7-Dec. 12.

Southern hemisphere rugby’s governing body SANZAAR has said its preferred host for the competition is New Zealand, where the coronavirus threat has been contained in recent weeks.

World Rugby said special measures will be implemented in line with any government-required quarantine period before the start of the competition.

The global rugby calendar is in a state of flux due to the pandemic which has caused most cross border and domestic club competitions to be suspended since March.

Scheduled tours by European teams to the southern hemisphere were cancelled and the postponements have placed financial strain on most rugby nations, with even the leading countries predicting multi-million dollar losses in 2020 due to reduced television, commercial and ticket revenue.

The recommendations to temporarily change the international window will be tabled at a virtual World Rugby Council meeting on July 30.

“Subject to approval, the full schedule of matches will be announced by the respective union and international competition owners in due course,” World Rugby said in a statement.

“All parties remain committed to continued dialogue regarding long-term men’s and women’s calendar reform that harmonises the international and club environments for the betterment of all.”

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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