World Rugby calls emergency meeting to address backlash of proposed global league

Source: 1News

World Rugby has called for an emergency meeting with the game's powerbrokers to address the snowballing issues surrounding their proposed world league.

After the new competition surfaced last week, top players and unions have been quick to oppose it over issues of welfare, integrity and travel.

The backlash has led to World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont calling for a meeting in Dublin to discuss the global league and a way forward for everyone involved.

"In light of continued speculation and commentary, I am convening a meeting of chairmen and CEOs from tier one unions, Fiji and Japan and player representatives in Dublin later this month to consider the way forward for an annual international competition," Beaumont said. 

"Contrary to reports, no decisions have been made," he added. "This is an ongoing and complex process with multiple stakeholders, some with differing views.

"Only by working together in the interests of the global game can we achieve something truly impactful in this important area for rugby's future global growth." 

The new  12-team tournament  would reportedly see all contesting nations play each other once a year, with the four on top of ladder after the matches set to face off in a play-off around November/December.

However, one of the big issues critics have with the tournament is which teams have been chosen in the 12 - or rather who has missed out, with no Pacific nations featured, including World No. 9 Fiji.

Instead, the USA and Japan would reportedly join the competition over a potential 12-year period with no promotion-relegation system in place, meaning rugby in the Pacific would effectively be reduced to Tier Two clashes between world cups.

Beaumont said he expects "constructive debate" at the meeting as well as, hopefully, "productive outcomes".

World Rugby also confirmed it will be releasing a detailed outline of the world league model as originally proposed soon, which they say will give broader context to the project.