28 Feb 2019

NZ Rugby not commenting on new competition

5:07 pm on 28 February 2019

New Zealand Rugby says it's not in a position to comment on speculation a deal is about to signed off that will create a 12 team World League, that will Japan and the United States join the Rugby Championship.

The NZ Herald is reporting a 12-team World League will be up and running from next year and will be worth $10 million - $14 million for each nation.

The report says the new format will require all 12 nations to play each other once in the calendar year, with a semi-final and final to be played in late November, possibly early December.

The 12 nations will be the current Six Nations - England, France, Italy, Scotland, Ireland and Wales - the current Rugby Championship sides of New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina plus Japan and USA which means the Pacific nations Fiji, Samoa and Tonga will be left out as there is no promotion-relegation.

NZ Rugby chief executive Steve Tew.

NZ Rugby chief executive Steve Tew. Photo: Photosport

There's been plenty of speculation over the new format for the past several months but New Zealand Rugby chief executive wouldn't confirm the new competition.

"We continue to work very hard on a number of iterations for the future of the international playing calendar, but we are not in a position to discuss any of the detail at this stage. We will share more detail when we are able to," Tew said in a statement.

The Herald says from an All Blacks perspective, the international season will kick off in July with three home test as per usual and the Six Nations will travel south to each play three tests.

The Rugby Championship will kick off in August and will be a straight round-robin.

The World League will then be completed by the southern sides travelling north in November to play the three teams they didn't play in July.

The top four teams on the table will then play a semi-final and final in the Northern Hemisphere.