Sir Bill Beaumont calls for emergency meeting

NZ Rugby CEO Steve Tew

The competition has always been mooted by World Rugby vice-chairman Agustine Pichot, who has said the global game was under threat and struggling financially.

Sio said he liked the idea of a world league but leaving ninth-ranked Fiji out of a 12-team competition seemed odd.

"Analysis confirms a more competitive worldwide game, and therefore Rugby World Cup would heighten the possibility of expanding the tournament to 24 teams", Gosper said.

"Contrary to reports, no decisions have been made", Beaumont said in a statement. This is an ongoing and complex process with multiple stakeholders, some with differing views. "I look forward to a constructive debate with my colleagues and productive outcomes".

The 12-team World League would see every nation compete against each other, either through the Six Nations, the Rugby Championship, or through July or November Tests.

'This will have the unsafe knock-on effect of luring senior players away from their countries and more towards the clubs, which is the exact opposite of what we're all trying to achieve.' International Rugby Players CEO Omar Hassanein confirmed that these views have been conveyed to World Rugby on several occasions.

Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle said she would not want to see Pacific Island nations such as Fiji, Samoa and Tonga shut out of the reported new format.

"Going from playing three or four games a year, which we all know is an issue for these countries, to playing in something like the Rugby Championship and then touring the northern hemisphere for four to five weeks requires a player depth that a lot of countries struggle with", said Tew.

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Samoa lock Daniel Leo, who heads the PRPW, a London-based lobbying group, added that he had spoken to the International Rugby Players (IRP) union and the New Zealand-based Pacific Rugby Players (PRP) union about a potential boycott. I feel we're at a real crossroads in the sport.

When Sanzar - formed as a partnership between New Zealand, South Africa and Australia - created the Super 12, they left out the Pacific nations, and they've seemingly been left out ever since. It is well documented that the game is under pressure to grow revenues so the game from the community level up can thrive.

But New Zealand is the poorest of the richer white countries in the World Rugby boardroom, and when push comes to shove, it will put first its own financial imperatives and survival.

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont has called an emergency meeting to discuss the future of the worldwide game.

"It is obvious that here in New Zealand we are under pressure to retain our top talent as the worldwide player and coach market continues to be challenging". He also said the sustainability of Super Rugby and the Mitre 10 Cup must be protected.

"After listening to the issues raised by numerous players, we need to be very careful that we balance the commercial needs of the game, with the player welfare needs and ensure the quality and integrity of matches meets expectations", Read said.

Although Messi is Argentina's record goalscorer with 65 and just 20 appearances shy of being their most-capped player, many feel his worldwide career has been underwhelming, particularly after the disappointment of the 2018 World Cup when Argentina exited to France in the last 16. "After that sort of sadness just kicked in really into what the sport has become and it's really the true colours showing through of what the governing body's motivations are", he said.

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