World 12s: World Rugby refuses to sanction tournament amid opposition from unions and leagues | Rugby Union News

The new concept was launched in September with backing from 2015 World Cup-winning coach Steve Hansen ahead of its planned first staging in England next August; World Rugby says they will not explore it further

Last Updated: 27/10/21 4:38pm

The World 12s proposal was billed as rugby's answer to The Hundred

The World 12s proposal was billed as rugby’s answer to The Hundred

World Rugby has refused to sanction the proposed World 12s tournament after opposition from unions and domestic competitions.

Launched in September, organisers pledged to raise £250m towards the sport over the next five years.

The first men’s tournament was scheduled to take place over three weeks in August 2022, with the first edition of the women’s competition scheduled to be held a year later.

After a Daily Telegraph report revealed stakeholders including the Gallagher Premiership and Top 14 had outlined their objections, World Rugby announced they “do not wish to explore the concept further at this time”.

“The priority for the sport is advancing productive discussions regarding the establishment of a welfare-focused, streamlined and harmonious annual international calendar,” said a World Rugby spokesperson.

Backed by New Zealand’s 2015 World Cup-winning coach Steve Hansen and ex-South Africa boss Jake White, organisers for the concept remain confident the competition will launch as planned next year.

World 12s chief executive Rowena Samarasinhe said: “World 12s has been, and continues to be, in regular contact with World Rugby.

“The challenges around the international calendar are well-known. World 12s is a long-term project and will grow over the years.

“We are optimistic that, even within the restrictions posed by the current calendar, World 12s will be able to host a tournament in August 2022 that includes a number of the game’s leading players, who will not be impacted by fixture clashes at that time.

“World 12s has always stated its commitment to working closely with all the game’s stakeholders to build an event that showcases the best talent, while bringing new audiences and significant investment to the sport.”

There is no prospect of All Blacks, Wallabies or Springboks being involved because of the Rugby Championship being held at the same time.

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