Rugby Europe Begins Six Nations Reform Campaign
March 13, 2017
The governing body of European Rugby Union has submitted a formal request to reform the Six Nations. Rugby Europe will submit the proposition to 6 Nations Limited company, with the intention of creating an additional spot in the competition.
There has long been a clamouring to revamp the current format, with an expansion or promotion/relegation process two options that have been discussed.
The World Rugby rankings currently place Georgia two places above Six Nations participants Italy, who have failed to win a point in this year’s tournament. Georgia have won the Rugby Europe Championship for the past six years, and are widely considered to be the clear favourites to join the Six Nations should the opportunity arise.
Octavian Morariu, president of Rugby Europe, said: “It is not about punishing a specific team because of its results in the tournament. We don’t want to compromise what has been achieved until now, but opening a dialogue seems to us crucial for the benefit of all.
“On a sports point of view considering the development and future of our sport; for economic consideration as Europe cannot be limited to six countries; and finally, politically, because we are a continent whose official governing body is Rugby Europe.
“We are open to consider all alternatives, either a direct relegation, the insertion of an annual or every two-year play-off system; the integration of one or two teams or the setup of a real European competition. We are aware this process will require time to build a common project and achieve it; but we need to start a real collaboration in the interests of European rugby growth.”