The controlling bodies of England's Premiership and France's Top 14 have responded to World Rugby's Nations Championship plans.
World Rugby responded to reports last week revealing how the new competition would work with promotion and relegation coming into play in both the Six Nations and the Rugby Championship.
World Rugby has moved to clarify the organisation’s position on the merits and structure of a Nations Championship concept in advance of key meetings in Dublin next week. pic.twitter.com/NlefufHdxf— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) March 6, 2019
The LNR and Premiership have raised concerns over player safety as well as a previous agreement made in San Francisco in 2017 that decided the structure of the test season adopted until 2032.
The Premiership and LNR have since released the following joint statement in response:
World Rugby has announced the organisation of a meeting bringing together several unions and the international players' body supposedly to discuss a project to create a new annual Nations Championship.
The San Francisco agreement reached in January 2017 by all stakeholders including LNR (French Rugby League) and PRL (Premiership Rugby) represented a proportionate structure for all parties with an international calendar adopted until 2032.
It appears that the new competition plan now challenges this balance by increasing the number of international matches, including among other periods extending into December with four or five successive international weeks which had been specifically rejected for established annual international competitions.
The professional leagues now seem to be excluded from this new work, even though the World Rugby project would be a major change to the San Francisco agreement for all elements of the professional game, and impact other competitions.
LNR and PRL regret the fact that World Rugby is not fully involving all stakeholders, in seeking a consensus, and they can only reserve the option to take any action to preserve their rights and competitions.