World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper says the new global calendar is not 'fraying at the edges' but confirmed major changes could be made, and those may find favour among southern nations.

Vice-chairman Agustin Pichot didn't miss this week when he said he would not be "an accomplice to rugby's ruin" - calling for a fresh blueprint and singling out the collective backtrack from English clubs on player welfare agreements previously struck in San Francisco.

It was there, 18 months ago, World Rugby proudly announced the new global schedule (2020 to 2032), only for one of its main pillars to come under increasing pressure.
Cracks in particular have emerged around the agreement to move internationals from June to July.

This tweak will allow Super Rugby to run uninterrupted and was also proposed as a rest period for European players.


England's Premiership Rugby, however, have since revealed plans to extend their excessively long season further into June.

A World Rugby meeting in Sydney at the end of this month now sets the scene for debate about whether to scrap mid-year tests and instead stage them in one block, home and away, in October and November.

This model is understood to have support from some southern nations.

While more cryptic than the passionate, progressive Pichot, Gosper confirmed the meeting in Sydney could lead to changes.

"There are people examining whether there are non-disruptive, value-enhancing ways which could lead to some adjustment in the calendar," Gosper told the Herald.

"It's important for us to look at ways to make the international game more meaningful, more valuable, and if that requires some changes that will be discussed with stakeholders.

"For the moment the calendar stands, and may continue to stand as it is. Only if the stakeholders agree there is greater value would we adjust anything.

"There hasn't really been any pushback. It was probably a calendar that was probably more in the status quo, keeping things as they are, not being too brave but being sensible.


"That's why there are possibilities to examine if there are better solutions for everyone."
Locking in the global calendar allowed everyone to push forward with long-term planning.

On-going issues create uncertainty. Sanzaar, for instance, is attempting to negotiate the next broadcast deal and map Super Rugby's future.

This latest showdown highlights difficulties striking compromises and agreements with so many conflicting agendas and egos.

Pichot also stressed the business side of rugby was broken, and said he feared for the future of the international game, unless changes were made.

"The calendar was agreed in San Francisco and it is not fraying at the edges," Gosper claimed. "We will enforce that calendar, and it is the right one.

"There is always going to be discussions around other models that will create more value for stakeholders."

The previously- agreed global calendar also paved the way for a minimum 39 percent increase in matches between established and second-tier nations.