Rugby’s major stakeholders have taken a significant step towards agreeing an optimised global calendar beyond Rugby World Cup 2019.
The World Rugby forum was held in San Francisco on Monday and Tuesday and the game's governing body reported positive movement towards reaching their goal of finalising a global rugby calendar.
A key step in the process towards agreeing the calendar, the forum concluded with representatives of the northern and southern hemisphere tier one and tier two unions, the game’s major professional leagues and the International Rugby Players’ Association aligned in their commitment to the process and underlying principles of player welfare, sustainability and season harmony.
The group considered key areas in detail, including the role and position of the June and November windows and international and domestic season alignment.
While it would be inappropriate to outline detail at this key consultation stage, the momentum achieved will enable World Rugby to progress the development of the calendar based on the outcomes.
World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said: "During a positive, collaborative and highly-productive forum, key principles were agreed that will underpin the development of the calendar which has player welfare and the harmony of the international and club game at its heart.
"“There is no silver bullet. Compromise has and will continue to be achieved by all stakeholders on the road to agreeing an optimised calendar, but I would like to thank my union and professional league colleagues for their full contribution and commitment to a process that will ultimately benefit the whole game.
"I am optimistic that a recommendation will be made to the World Rugby Council in May."
With thanks to World Rugby