World Rugby vice-chairman Agustín Pichot has warned that the entire future of test rugby is under threat unless the sport takes urgent action within the next 12 months.
The former Los Pumas scrumhalf has called for unions and clubs to finalise a fresh 10-year blueprint before next year’s World Cup in Japan, admitting the current financial model “is not working”.
In an interview with The Guardian, Pichot confirmed that fresh discussions on how to make the Test game more viable will be held in Sydney later this month as there are ‘a lot of problems that we need to address’.
‘If you ask me as a businessman, the business side of it is not working,’ Pichot said. ‘If you ask me as the playing side, it’s not working. Is the international game under threat? I think it is. Look at the balance sheets of some nations and you can see exactly where we stand.
‘By the 2019 World Cup we need to have a blueprint for the next 10 years. On a scale of one to 10, I think we’re four out of 10 now [in terms of finding a solution] but before we were not even on the chart. We need to push that needle from four to at least six or seven. I’m not going to be an accomplice to rugby’s ruin.’
The aim of the new July Test window was to give players more time to rest, but Premiership Rugby now plans to extend its league from May into June.
‘It’s all a trade-off and who pays for that? The players,’ said Pichot. ‘I felt that Premier Rugby didn’t honour what we said in the San Francisco meeting. At the end of the day, we wanted that shift [of the Test window to July] to give international players a rest if they were playing too many games. That for us is the most important thing.’
Full story via: The Guardian