All Blacks coach Steve Hansen wants annual showdown with Six Nations winner

By Nik Simon

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen. Photo / Photosport
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen. Photo / Photosport

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has proposed an annual match between the Six Nations and Rugby Championship winners as part of a global shake-up.

Officials have held talks about the scheduling of the sport after the next World Cup, with proposals to align the northern and southern hemisphere playing calendars.

Six Nations chiefs are reluctant to move from the February-March slot, but Hansen told the Daily Mail that an historic agreement of dates between officials would send the game "through the roof".

"It's a no-brainer," said the double World Cup winner. "You've got to say, 'What's best for our product so we can keep attracting people to come and watch it?'"

"First, our players need a decent pre-season. You'd play club competitions simultaneously. We could have the European Cup winners play the Super Rugby winners and the Six Nations winners play the Rugby Championship winners.

We need some goodwill to sort it out."

Summer tours are likely to be scrapped in World Cup years, but the future of British and Irish Lions tours is secure despite concerns over player welfare.

They face the All Blacks next June and Hansen is targeting a clean sweep.

"We'll want to win 3-0," said Hansen. "If the northern nations keep playing well they'll provide a headache for the selectors."

- Daily Mail

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