Eight-team tournament lined up after global talks reach impasse
Japan and Fiji are expected to be confirmed as the two guest nations to join the Six Nations sides in an inaugural eight-team tournament in November and December.
Negotiations between unions and clubs are continuing this week about the completion of the 2020 fixture schedule and proposals to restructure the global calendar.
The World Rugby council meeting which had been scheduled for today to vote on allowing international rugby to be played in October as well as November, has been postponed until mid-July to allow for talks to continue.
Sources indicated last night that it was “the most likely option” that the new-look tournament would replace scheduled matches against southern-hemisphere opposition, because of Covid-19 travel restrictions, and the delay to the start of the southern hemisphere’s Rugby Championship.
England had been due to face New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga and Australia at Twickenham in November.
The more contentious issue surrounds the completion of this season’s Six Nations matches and how that impacts on Premiership Rugby.
Talks about the global calendar are even more complex, with the clubs in England and France raising objections to a proposal by the World Rugby working group representing the Six Nations and southern hemisphere nations to move the July window for Test matches to October to create a new international series.