A proposed World 12s rugby tournament has suffered a potentially terminal blow following opposition from unions and domestic competitions.
Dubbed the Indian Premier League of rugby, organisers planned to launch the 12-a-side tournament in August 2022 in the hope that its franchise system, including a player auction, would entice new fans and money into the game.
But World Rugby has released a statement that appears to end hopes of it ever taking place after a report revealed that a letter written by stakeholders including England’s Premiership and France’s Top 14 outlined their objections.
“The game’s major stakeholders welcome innovative thinking that has the potential to enhance the sport, and new concepts are always given full consideration,” a World Rugby spokesperson said.
“World Rugby has reflected the views of national unions, international and domestic competitions to the group proposing World 12s and confirmed that stakeholders do not wish to explore the concept further at this time.
“This is a position endorsed by the World Rugby executive committee and professional game committee, which includes representatives from across the elite men’s and women’s game.
“The priority for the sport is advancing productive discussions regarding the establishment of a welfare-focused, streamlined and harmonious annual international calendar.”