Support our Nation today - please donate here
Sport

New biennial tournament for Six Nations and southern hemisphere teams set to start in 2026

01 Jul 2023 2 minute read
Wales’ Louis Rees-Zammit during the Autumn International match against New Zealand. Photo Joe Giddens. PA Images

A new biennial international tournament featuring teams from the Six Nations and the southern hemisphere is set to start in 2026.

Six Nations Rugby has announced it is working with SANZAAR, the organisation which includes South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina, on a new competition to take place in the existing July and November international windows.

The tournament will feature all the Six Nations and SANZAAR teams, with two further spaces reserved for invitational unions to join the southern hemisphere group.

Six Nations Rugby and SANZAAR will own and operate the tournament, which will take place in alternating years, between British and Irish Lions tours and the Rugby World Cup.

The new competition will not affect the club calendar and Six Nations Rugby insisted players had been heavily involved in the process, amid growing concerns over burnout and calls for greater focus on rest and recovery periods between domestic and international commitments.

Player welfare

It said in a statement: “Involved at every stage of developing the new competition has been the international rugby players.

“This connection has been key in supporting the wider conversations around the club and international calendar taking place in parallel, and to ensure player welfare has remained a fundamental priority in all decision making.”

Alongside the new tournament, World Rugby is set to also create a second-tier competition made up of teams from Europe and the rest of the world, which will eventually allow for promotion and relegation matches.

Six Nations Rugby said the tournament would provide “a stronger narrative around the July and November windows” that would “genuinely excite players and bring new fans to the game”.


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
5 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Stephen George
Stephen George
9 months ago

No. Just no!

Karl
Karl
9 months ago

Pointless chasing of international games, while the clubs are left behind. Wru has ruined rugby.

George Thomas
George Thomas
9 months ago

Rugby seems to have the same problem as football in that every body wants increased income through more competitive fixtures, no body wants to give up their games to make room and limited consideration is being given to player welfare.

Rob
Rob
9 months ago
Reply to  George Thomas

At least football doesn’t have a closed shop mentality where minnows like Wales or Iceland can shock the world like they did in 2016. Georgia, Fiji and Japan have been ranked higher than Italy yet still not able to compete in regular annual tournaments like the Six Nations or Rugby Championship. Its the same domestically, the Principality Premiership is supposed to be a national league yet clubs in the North division are prevented from being promoted to it because of distance. Yet the Cymru Premiership in football Connahs Quay Nomads or Caernarfon Town will regularly travel south to take on… Read more »

CapM
CapM
9 months ago

And the tournament will be Pay to View so if you don’t like the idea don’t subscribe to any service that broadcasts it..

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.