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World Rugby Abandons Nations Championship Plans - World Rugby announced it halted seeking approval for its radical plan to replace existing tour and Test match history with a 12-nation super league (Six Nations, four country Rugby Championship fifteens, Japan, Fiji, or the USA). The controversial plan needed unanimous approval from the ten unions. The heart of dissent came from the Six Nations Championship, which adamantly refused to consider relegation to a second tier format as an integral part of the new World League concept.
To validate this negative reaction of the relegation proposal to sports-minded Americans, imagine this headline: "NY Yankees Demoted To Triple A, Minor League Baseball Status." Who would attend Yankee Stadium to watch the team play the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs or the Pawtucket Red Sox? What television network would broadcast these minor league Yankee games? The franchise would suffer a massive loss of status and revenue.
For the proposed World Rugby National Championship, with relegation enforceable annually, there always would exist the possibility of a major rugby-playing nation disappearing from the world’s major Test match stage (at least for a year). Imagine England had a terrible year and finished last. Who attends Twickenham to see the Red Roses against Romania or Portugal, and not play Wales or Scotland?
Relegation was but one of the significant drawbacks to an ill-conceived World Rugby plan to alter rugby globally.
U20 Boys Finale- This Saturday, defending champions France meet Australia in the finale of this year's U20 Championship. The tournament is in Argentina with the six final matches to be played in Racehorse Stadium, Rosario.
The line up to determine the twelve spots follows:
1-2: France v. Australia
3-4: Argentina v. South Africa
5-6: England v. Wales
7-8: New Zealand v. Ireland
9-10: Italy v. Georgia
11-12: Scotland v. Fiji
The nation that finishes twelfth drops to the U20 Trophy event next year.
Kansas City to Host Club Sevens - Kansas City will welcome US club winners to the national sevens championships. The dates are August 10 and 11. FloRugby will air the matches live.