Fylde great Sir Bill Beaumont's ambitious plans for global tournament

Sir Bill Beaumont is promoting an annual Nations Cup for rugby unionSir Bill Beaumont is promoting an annual Nations Cup for rugby union
Sir Bill Beaumont is promoting an annual Nations Cup for rugby union
Newly re-elected World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont has revealed plans for a new global tournament which could lead to two consecutive months of international action.
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Fylde’s most famous rugby son, Beaumont is keen to resurrect plans for an annual competition, possibly with promotion and relegation, but stressed the Guinness Six Nations would not be expected to change dates or format.

The former England captain’s challenger and former vice-chairman, Agustin Pichot, was the key driver of the Nations Championship idea but Beaumont has promised to carry it on.

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Outside the Six Nations and the southern hemisphere’s four-team Rugby Championship, a 2017 agreement ensures dates in July and November are set aside for internationals.

Beaumont, who has handed a second four-year term on Saturday, said: “I think there could well be an appetite for putting the two windows together. It could be north going south in one month and then immediately afterwards the south would come north the next month.

“We have to take all stakeholders with us. You have to take the club game and European game with us.”

Beaumont, who spent all his 13 years as a player at Fylde, revealed “embryonic” talks had begun with representatives from both hemispheres as well as the International Rugby Players union.

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“What we will try to do is bring in a new competition that keeps the Six Nations a standalone competition but there could well be an instance that in the Nations Cup, maybe not all the Six Nations teams are playing at the top level,” he said.

“Sitting below that you could have a subsidiary competition featuring emerging nations and you could well have promotion and relegation. We have to find funding for this emerging nations tournament to take place.”

The 68-year-old added: “I do think there’s an appetite from the Six Nations to look at the Nations Cup. Nobody has ever mentioned to me that the Six Nations would move timescale but in my opinion what would move is July and November.

“Why would you move the Six Nations? It is not affecting anyone else’s window on the global calendar. It’s a six-week tournament that has been played in February/March time since I was a lad.”