Proposed World Club Cup to link Northern and Southern Hemispheres


After brokering the deal for a new European Cup, starting next season, bosses of Aviva Premiership clubs are understood to be working on plans for a World Club competition, according to The Independent.

It has been reported that the English clubs will test the resolve of the IRB by proposing plans to create a new worldwide club tournament for the summer of June 2018 which, as it stands, is currently a designated international rugby window.

The clubs have clearly been buoyed by the shift of power in the European game after the creation of a new governing body, European Professional Club Rugby, which sees the clubs granted considerably more influence and the unions taking a backwards step.

On the back of this, organisers have reportedly already discussed plans for a month-long World Club Cup with broadcasters both in England and South Africa. It would involve the eight quarter-finalists from the newly-formed Champions Cup, and eight Super Rugby franchises.

Bath chairman Bruce Craig, who was instrumental in engineering the new Champions Cup, has however admitted that a World Club Cup could be delayed until 2022, with international teams’ summer tours already agreed up to 2019, and British & Irish Lions tours scheduled for 2017 and 2021. And of course given the level of politics we’ve seen this season, any agreement is likely to be some way off at this stage.

What do you think of the idea? Would you like to see a World Club Cup take place in the near future?

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

13 thoughts on “Proposed World Club Cup to link Northern and Southern Hemispheres

  1. Controversial for me to say this, but this idea is more inclusive (from a participating countries point of view) and potentially more interesting to watch (and longer) than the Lions tour. Would happily sacrifice one for the other. This is a great idea for the future of world rugby and its development. The lions tour, while great fun, is a relic of the amateur era and its role I’m developing the game has to be called into question.

    1. Lions = £€$. I can’t see any of the host nations being particularly enthusiastic about scrapping it, let alone the home nations. Lions is one of the events that attracts new people to the sport, I don’t a club tournament holding anywhere near the same appeal. If your club isn’t in it what’s the interest?

    2. What!!?? Can’t believe I’ve just read that.

      I went to Australia for two weeks to follow the Lions last summer and was two of the best weeks of my life!

      I also happened to go to NZ for the WC in 2011, and I must say, the Lions tour was more enjoyable to follow.

      The Lions has incredible commercial value, so whilst it may not add much in regards to rugby development (althought Conor Murray and Owen Farrell may disagree with you….), it is still a great spectacle that I sincerely hope stays for many years to come.

  2. International level players arguably play too much already, this could only come about at the expense of an existing tournament/playing window.

    Slightly off topic, I would rather see more games in the style of the barbarians/lions (players thrown together from different teams/countries). eg National Team vs Foreign Players in the National League, although I guess this would only work for England and France.

    Or 2 supporter selected XV’s, first choice pack paired with second choice backs.

  3. The idea sounds nice, but in reality I can’t ever see it working.

    I wouldn’t want to see club rugby ever get put before International matches, and I just can’t see where it would fit in.

    I would like to see a one off game, Super Rugby Winner vs Heineken Cup Winner though.

  4. In theory it could work. But it will need a lot of work to make it happen.

    What would be easier would be if the winners of the top four competitions had a mini tournament? i.e Aviva Prem winner, Rabo Pro 12 winner, French top 14 winner and Super Rugby winner play each other.

    1. Not really sure the SH teams would like the idea that they get one entry, but the NH get three.

      Potentially then you’d have to look at the winner of each conference in the S15? Then you have 6 teams though? So not sure how that would work.

  5. Where there’s a will. It must happen at some pt surely? When & how. Difficult.

    What format? Home & away basis or knock out tourney? A yrly fixture, or maybe rotated with Int’al or Loins tours with the latter being less frequent?

    And where & whayt basis would the final be played?

    Idunno, but lots food for thought.

  6. The Lions sucked. It wasn’t about 4 nations coming together as one team. It was about the Welsh fans taking credit for the series win and the Scotch fans complaining about being under represented in the squad.

    The England tour, for me, was for more entertaining and important. My only gripe was that England’s touring squad kept getting pillaged by the Lions whenever there was an injury in Australia.

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