ARU welcomes new World Rugby International Calendar

Friday March 17, 2017

Australian Rugby Union (ARU) CEO, Bill Pulver has welcomed World Rugby’s announcement of an optimised International Calendar for 2020-2032.

The historic agreement will see the current June international window shift to July, enabling the Super Rugby competition to run uninterrupted from kick off in February through to a June Final.

There will also be a 39% increase in Test matches played between tier one and tier two nations, with all SANZAAR nations, including Australia set to host emerging Test nations in the July international window.

In a further minor adjustment to the calendar, the existing November international window will be moved forward one week.

The agreement concludes a year of constructive and collaborative dialogue between the game’s governing bodies, its major professional leagues and the International Rugby Players’ Association.

“The new global match calendar is a major milestone and provides certainty for the game and its fans and I give great credit to World Rugby Chairman, Bill Beaumont and his deputy, Gus Pichot for driving us to this outcome.

“From an Australian Rugby perspective, our number one priority was to ensure that we could move to an uninterrupted Super Rugby season and we are delighted to have reached that outcome with today’s announcement.

“The entire process was carried out with a strong spirit of collaboration between all nations and like in any agreement, there were compromises that each nation had to make in order to reach an outcome that will benefit the game as a whole.”

Importantly for Australian fans, Pulver confirmed that three Test matches would be played on home soil in every July, despite inbound tours by northern hemisphere nations being cut from three matches to two matches in the year after the Rugby World Cup.

“There has been a change with the northern hemisphere tours in the year after the Rugby World Cup, but we are committed to hosting three Test matches in Australia in every July window. It will just mean that all three matches wont be against the same nation in the years following the Rugby World Cup.

“It is also a wonderful result for the game to see a major lift in opportunities for emerging Rugby nations, including the Pacific Islands nations and Japan, as well as other countries where the game has exploded in popularity such as the United States and Canada.”

News Source: ARU Media