CAPE TOWN – South African rugby will strike it rich in World Rugby's proposed money-spinning Nations Championship in 2022.
The Times, a British daily newspaper, reported that the chief executives of all tier one Test nations met in Los Angeles on Tuesday. The tier one nations are New Zealand, South Africa, England, Australia, Ireland, France, Wales, Argentina, Scotland and Italy.
The plan is for 12-nation competition and that means tier two teams are in the running for inclusion in the lucrative league. The tier two nations are Georgia, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Canada, United States, Uruguay, Namibia, Japan, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.
This new competition will offer southern hemisphere teams a chance to benefit from the bigger economies of the north.
Fiji and Japan appear to be the strongest in the tier two group although the United States are proving to be a formidable side under the guidance of SA-born Gary Gold.
The existing northern and southern hemisphere competitions, the Six Nations and Rugby Championship, will provide the basis for the new Nations Championship.
The Rugby Championship is contested annually by Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. The Six Nations presently include England, Ireland, France, Wales, Scotland and Italy.
The idea is for these two championships to introduce promotion and relegation. The top teams of the two tournaments will meet in a two-week finals play-off at a neutral venue in Europe such as Wembley Stadium or Barcelona's Camp Nou.
African News Agency (ANA)