World Rugby: English & French clubs want say over new schedule

France’s leading clubs, such as current champions Toulouse, employ internationals from around the rugby world

The English and French clubs have written to World Rugby in a bid to be formally involved in the establishment of a new rugby union schedule post-coronavirus.

In a joint letter, Premiership Rugby (PRL) and the Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR) say it is “essential” they are consulted in plans to shake up the calendar.

“It is never more important to ensure that everyone must be in the room at this time for the big decisions,” a Premiership source told the BBC.

“We want to stay constructive but be part of the decision-making process.”

Administrators worldwide have been discussing how the sport will look after the pandemic, with one proposal being to abolish the July tour window in order to run back-to-back international windows in the autumn.

This concept has been endorsed by World Rugby’s re-elected chairman Sir Bill Beaumont, who also says a revised Nations Championship is back on the table, while the RFU boss Bill Sweeney has also spoken of a radical overhaul of the calendar.

However, this would require significant change to both the domestic and European club seasons, with the chairman of European Professional Club Rugby Simon Halliday adding that the clubs and provinces must be “at the heart of the conversation”.

Halliday said last month: “This situation gives a unique opportunity for all rugby properties to come together for the good of the sport and we call on everyone to be involved in a fully collaborative way.”

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