Eight nations tournament for European international rugby return

Eight nations tournament for European international rugby return

Europe’s Six Nations was curtailed due to the international coronavirus lockdown but as European cases ease the competition will resume towards the end of October with a competition including Fiji and Japan is reportedly scheduled to follow in November.

Wales rugby
Photo: Gallo Images

The Six Nations has just four games left to complete with England and France both sitting at the top of the log on 13 points with Scotland in third on ten points.

France will have face Ireland in their final game of the competition while England have a clash with Italy in the final round. Wales and Scotland will face off in the other game of the final round.

The final fixtures will be concluded on 31 October which gives the teams a two week rest until the start of the eight nation competition.

It’s reported that the tournament will be divided into two pools of four teams with England, Fiji, Wales and Ireland in the one group and Italy, France, Scotland and Japan in the other group of four.

The tournament will take place over four consecutive weekends with the finals to take place on 5 December with the winners of each pool facing off for the title while the runners-up in each pool will play for third and fourth.

Despite the plans for this competition, the local clubs in England have voiced their concern over seven weeks of international rugby during the busy pre-Christmas period for the club game.

"Premiership Rugby and its clubs have already offered compromises and agreed to stretch the international window from four weekends to six, offering a solution that would allow the completion of the Six Nations tournament, accommodate an extra game with England v Barbarians, and allow for the four international matches in the November window," it said in a statement seen by AFP.

"The Premiership has also agreed to start the 2020-21 Premiership Rugby season during the 2020 international window, on November 20, to allow the campaign to be completed before next summer's Lions tour (of South Africa).

"So a further temporary amendment to regulation nine, which governs player release for Test matches, for weekends in December, would have a further impact on the Premiership and needs to be avoided."

The Gallagher Premiership is set to return on 15 August and they have 57 matches to complete by the final on 24 October. This along with the fact that the new season is set to start on 21 November means that there will be very little space for an extended test window.

The 2020/21 season needs to be concluded before the British and Irish Lions arrive in South Africa for their first game against the Stormers on Saturday, 3 July.


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