In a great development for international rugby, SANZAAR and the Six Nations have revealed their plans for an innovative joint tournament, set to commence in 2026.
With a shared goal of bringing up new life into the sport, this collaboration between the southern and northern hemisphere teams promises to captivate fans worldwide.
The tournament will take place during the existing July and November Test windows, in alternating years, cleverly avoiding clashes with the British & Irish Lions tours and the World Cup.
Participating in this thrilling competition will be the four Rugby Championship teams – Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa – alongside the formidable Six Nations sides from England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales.
To add even more excitement, two spaces have been reserved for invited unions, potentially including the powerhouse in Japan.
This inclusive approach demonstrates the organizers’ commitment to showcasing the talents of a diverse range of teams on the global stage.
But that’s not all – alongside this premier tournament, World Rugby, the governing body, will establish a second-tier competition. This opens up opportunities for teams from Europe and the rest of the world to shine, with the tantalizing prospect of promotion and relegation.
This pathway will pave the way for teams to grow, learn, and compete at higher levels, ensuring the sustained development and expansion of the game.
The creation of this groundbreaking tournament is a testament to the shared ambition and determination of all involved.
The organizers are driven by a desire to provide context, a compelling narrative, and an electrifying experience for players and fans during the July and November windows. By doing so, they aim to attract new supporters and secure the long-term success of the sport.
While the exact format is yet to be confirmed, reports suggest that teams from the northern hemisphere will embark on a thrilling journey south for a series of three tests in July.
Subsequently, they will host their southern rivals for an equally captivating set of three matches in November. This arrangement ensures a perfect balance and keeps fans eagerly anticipating each encounter.
The rugby community is buzzing with anticipation for this groundbreaking tournament. Fans, players, and officials alike are eager to witness the clash of titans from different hemispheres, showcasing their skills and battling for glory.
With its engaging format and potential for surprises, this tournament promises to redefine international rugby and propel the sport to new heights.
Get ready to witness the fusion of southern and northern rugby powerhouses, as the SANZAAR-Six Nations collaboration sets the stage for an unforgettable journey of competition, camaraderie, and triumph.
Stay tuned for more updates as we count down the days to the inaugural tournament in 2026. Rugby has never looked more mind-blowing!