Share this article

World Rugby is seeking consultation with organisers of a proposed new 12-a-side competition. 

World 12s was revealed to the world on Tuesday, backed by World Cup-winning All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen.

In a concept similar to cricket's Indian Premier League or The Hundred, World 12s would see 192 of the world's best players split among eight franchises.

The tournament would take place over a three-week period, with organisers hopeful of staging its maiden season in August/September of 2022.

However, World 12s has not received the warmest of responses from the sport's governing body, World Rugby.

"We are aware of the proposed new World 12s competition," a spokesperson said.

"While we welcome innovative thinking with the potential to advance the reach, attractiveness and growth of the sport, comprehensive consultation with the organisers is required to understand the viability of the concept, particularly in the context of ongoing global calendar discussions and the priority area of player welfare."

World 12s organisers believe their idea can generate €290million, saying the "reduced format will lead to a high scoring, high pressure and attractive rugby being played, whilst keeping the shape and a semblance of the structure of 15s.

"World 12s will also offer unprecedented prize money for the tournament winners."

They say their concept is backed by a UK-based financial consortium.

Former English RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie is its chairman, and he said, "World 12s is a natural evolution for rugby union.

"We feel that this is a game for our changing, fast-paced world that can excite a global fan base in the way that we have seen with the IPL or most recently The Hundred in cricket.

"In bringing together the most exciting players under the stewardship of some of the brightest rugby minds with commercial backing, we are looking to propel rugby forward and lay a positive roadmap for how the game is perceived for future generations.

“Early and informal discussions with World Rugby, unions, clubs and player associations have been constructive, and in announcing today we can continue our consultative conversations and collaborations with the relevant stakeholders.”

Cork confirm departure of senior football manager Ronan McCarthy

Share this article

Read more about

Steve Hansen World 12s World Rugby

You might like