1 Mar 2019

Latest World League proposal meets with NZ Rugby disapproval

2:26 pm on 1 March 2019

The latest proposed new World Rugby League isn't acceptable to New Zealand Rugby.

The proposal would involve 12 teams - made up of the four Rugby Championship teams, along with Japan and the United States, and the Six Nations teams in a round-robin competition.

The plan has been criticised by the International Rugby Players Council including All Blacks skipper Kieran Read.

The chief executive of New Zealand Rugby Steve Tew says the proposal is one of many that has been put up.

06092016 Photo: Rebekah Parsons-King. Gordon Tietjens steps down as All Blacks Sevens coach.  Pictured: Steve Tew, NZ Rugby Chief Executive.

NZ Rugby CEO Steve Tew. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

"The one that has been discussed most recently is literally only 24 hours old and had some flaws in it which we had pointed out and were going to be worked through," said Tew.

"But all of the concepts that we have seen are not 100 precent perfect and if we are going to end up with something we are going to have make compromises somewhere."

Fiji, Samoa and Tonga are left out of the latest proposal but Tew but there needs to be a pathway for them to join when they are capable of doing so.

But he said it's not simply about including nations based on world rankings.

Samoa captain David Afamasaga finds space during their pool match against Fiji in Sydney.

Fiji and Samoa aren't part of the latest World League plan. Photo: Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby

"We all know that rankings don't necessarily mean you can compete in a competition. If we were to add Georgia to the Six Nations who are currently ranked higher than Italy I am not sure that would help the Six Nations from a competitive point of view or a commercial perspective.

"So you have to be sensible about these things ...so if for example Fiji are ranked high enough to come in, how are they going to access (overseas based) players? Have we got enough resouces in behind them? - because we all know you can't run an international team unless you have got a competition structure underneath it to feed you depth.

"Going from playing three or four games a year, which we all know is an issue for these countries , to playing in something like the Rugby Championship and then touring the northern hemisphere for four to five weeks requires a player depth that a lot of countries struggle with," said Tew.