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AUCKLAND BLUES TRAIN ON THE BEACH IN NZ

It is important to communicate World Rugby's recent 12-year calendar plans for 2020 to 2032 as they impart major changes to international rugby. The two key issues furthered proffer more Men's Test match competition between Tier One and Tier Two nations (39% increase with 110 matches), and more attention to overall player safety.

In order to systemize a world calendar, all nations will start and finish their seasons at the same time. This will allow for about eleven-months of play, and one month of rest. The target is to limit players at the international level to a maximum 32-games per year schedule, which includes both club and country matches.

With a goal to make the quadrennial Rugby World Cup become more competitive over time, World Rugby stipulated in the calendar that it wants more "meaningful fixtures for emerging nations." Specifically, this will have immediate emphasis on Georgia, Romania, and Germany in Europe, the USA and Canada in North America, and Japan in Asia. To accomplish this objective, many Tier One nations will tour to play these Tier Two sides, offering the latter's rugby-following public the opportunity to see top level sides play their national teams.

In Europe, Georgia and Romania will host Six Nations' sides more frequently, and England and France announced tours to the Pacific Islands to play Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa.

The players' initiatives are designed to allow for "optimal preparation time" between club and country matches.

What this means for the Eagles will be the arrival of more Tier One nations that tour the USA. This should lead to improvement for the national side, and also showcasing a higher quality of rugby to American fans and newcomers to the sport.