As the Lions Tour came to an end, one or two articles about plans for a ‘global season’ for Rugby went a little unnoticed.
The International Rugby Players’ Association (IRPA) met in Sydney last week and have made a proposal to move the June internationals and adopt an integrated global season, with the aim of improving player welfare.
The IRPA want to move the June test window until the last three weeks of July, which would allow Super Rugby to be completed without a break. The Northern Hemisphere seasons would start slightly later in October and continue further into the summer.
IRPA chairman Damian Hopley explained: ‘We’re in a unique position – for the first time since rugby went professional, the major Northern and Southern Hemisphere competition and commercial structures are on the table at the same time. This is the ideal time to seriously consider change that will secure player welfare initiatives.’
Richie McCaw has voiced his approval, stating ‘If the Game’s leaders give this idea, or a variation of it, serious consideration it could be a game-changer for professional rugby. It would be fantastic to address this long standing season structure debate once and for all, the players and the game would be so much better for it.’
What do you think of the suggestion? Would it impact your enjoyment of Rugby? How would it affect Rugby fans in different parts of the world?