21 Jun 2019

Six Nations: The real rulers of World Rugby

1:44 pm on 21 June 2019

New Zealand Rugby is placing the blame for the collapse of the Nations Championship on the Six Nations unions.

Relegation from the proposed Nations Championship would be "catastrophic" for the game.

England rugby had claimed relegation from the proposed Nations Championship would be "catastrophic" for the game. No wonder it's dead in the water. Photo: Photosport

World Rugby were forced to drop plans for the Nations Championship after failing to get unanimous support for the new competition.

New Zealand, Australia and South Africa voted for the idea and describe its scrapping as a lost opportunity.

However the Six Nations unions, of which England are the most powerful, voted unanimously against it.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew says money talks and the cash created in the European markets gives the Six Nations unions unrivalled power.

He says what England want, they usually get.

"A significant proportion of the money that's generated for World Rugby is created in the English market, backed up in the second biggest chunk by the French market. We are always fighting that reality.

"That's where the money comes from and it ends up being distributed much more significantly to the Six Nations than it is to anyone else in the game. Do we like it? No. Is it grossly unfair? That's a debate we continue to have."

NZ Rugby chief executive Steve Tew.

NZ Rugby chief executive Steve Tew. Photo: Photosport

The Nations Championship was scheduled to begin in 2022 and would have taken place in traditional competitions like the Six Nations and Rugby Championship, as well as during existing Test windows, with the top two teams meeting in the final at the end of the year.

SANZAAR and New Zealand Rugby chair Brent Impey expressed disappointment at the decision saying a golden opportunity to grow the game had been lost.

Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle says SANZAAR could now look at expanding the Rugby Championship.

Castle isn't ruling out Japan and Fiji joining southern hemisphere heavyweights Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina - the four semi-finalists from the 2015 World Cup - joining the Rugby Championship (TRC).

Meanwhile Tew has confirmed the All Blacks will host Wales twice and Scotland once in next year's July test window, with the venues yet to be confirmed.