Top rugby officials discuss new global competition

DUBLIN (AP) — Rugby's world governing body says "positive and productive" meetings have taken place between officials from the sport's top nations regarding the introduction of a new global competition.

British newspaper The Times has reported that a World Rugby Nations Championship would see the sport's 12 leading countries play each other once throughout the year ahead of a playoff series that leads to the top northern and southern hemisphere sides meeting in a final.

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The newspaper reported that the aim of the new league was to provide greater context to the international game, which has test matches in June and November along with the northern hemisphere's Six Nations tournament in February-March and the southern hemisphere's Rugby Championship in August to October.

World Rugby says chief executives from the top unions and tournaments attended a meeting in Los Angeles on Monday about a global competition "that will deliver greater value and certainty to all unions by building on the strong foundations of existing competitions and invigorating the July and November windows."

The governing body added Tuesday that it has been "tasked to continue exploring the viability of potential global competition formats" that would "enhance the international game for unions, players and fans."

The Times reported that World Rugby is looking to start the new competition in 2022 and that it would not be staged in Rugby World Cup years.

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