(Reuters) – World Rugby has abandoned its plans to create a Nations Championship after failing to gain support from unions, the sport’s ruling body said on Wednesday.
Rugby’s governing body needed unanimous approval from the 10 countries that make up the Six Nations and Rugby Championship to enter into exclusive negotiations.
World Rugby identified the inability to reach a consensus on key issues such as the timing and format of promotion and relegation as the reason for scrapping the project.
“While we are naturally disappointed that a unanimous position on the Nations Championship could not be achieved among our unions, we remain fully committed to exploring alternative ways to enhance the meaning, value and opportunity of international rugby for the betterment of all unions,” World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said in a statement.
“This includes our continued commitment to competition and investment opportunities for emerging nations to increase the competitiveness of the international game with a view to possible Rugby World Cup expansion in 2027.”
(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie, editing by Ed Osmond)