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SANZAAR 'disappointed' by scrapping of proposed World Rugby Nations Championship

The concept was set to redefine the international rugby calendar, especially for SANZAAR member unions - Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

South Africa’s RG Snyman (R) catches a high ball during the Rugby Championship Test match between Australia and South Africa at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on 8 September 2018. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - The Southern hemisphere's rugby governing body SANZAAR has expressed disappointment that the proposed World Rugby Nations Championship concept has officially been taken off the table.

The concept was set to redefine the international rugby calendar, especially for SANZAAR member unions - Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Despite having some concerns over elements of what was presented, most notably promotion/relegation, the members had all signed the offer letters to enter into the next phase of due diligence with the aim of working through the concerns with all interested parties.

"The Nations Championship was a golden opportunity to grow the game internationally but is seemingly lost. SANZAAR remains convinced that such a revamped international calendar is the right course of action supported by professional cross-border competitions such as Super Rugby and the various European premierships," said SANZAAR Chairman Brent Impey.

“All SANZAAR Unions signed the letter of offer with World Rugby to continue negotiations. SANZAAR has been consistent in its support of the concept as we believed that this was an important decision for the future of the world game,” Impey continued.

“Furthermore, the ability to have promotion/relegation in both hemispheres as proposed by World Rugby is a principle position with which SANZAAR agreed. That would have created a meaningful pathway and aspirations for emerging nations. While World Rugby has led discussions around the Nations Championship concept, SANZAAR and its member unions, have been in constant and positive dialogue with our broadcast partners to secure the future of Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship,” he added.

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