World Rugby announce global calendar, remove June window

All Blacks loose forward Sam Cane in action against Wales during a June test. Photo / Brett Phibbs
All Blacks loose forward Sam Cane in action against Wales during a June test. Photo / Brett Phibbs

KEY POINTS

  • Uninterrupted Super Rugby season
  • New window of tests in July
  • Tier two nations to play All Blacks in July

World Rugby has come together to commit to a global calendar through until 2032, with a raft of changes.

The new calendar, which starts in 2020, will see Super Rugby wrap up before the mid-year international break which will now take place in July.

Among other changes, the window will run through the first three weeks of the month, comprising three tests except for the years after a World Cup which will be reduced to two.

New Zealand Rugby and the SANZAAR unions have also committed to hosting tier two nations in the July window.

The November international window will also move forward a week, ensuring the season finishes earlier.

The new calendar has signoff from the International Rugby Players' Association.

"Agreement on an optimised global calendar that provides certainty and sustainability over the decade beyond Rugby World Cup 2019 represents an historic milestone for the global game," said World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont.

"But more than that, this agreement has player welfare and equity at heart, driving certainty and opportunities for emerging rugby powers and laying the foundations for a more compelling and competitive international game, which is great for unions, players and fans.

"This process has been complex and there was no silver bullet. Compromise has been achieved by all stakeholders in the spirit of collaboration and I would like to thank my union and professional league colleagues for their full contribution and commitment to reaching an agreement that will ultimately benefit the whole game."

New rugby calendar from 2020
February to end of June - Uninterrupted Super Rugby season
July - All Blacks to play up to three tests against touring sides (including tier two nations)
August-September - Rugby Championship
August-October - Mitre 10 Cup
November - End of year tours

- NZ Herald

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