New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has commended World Rugby for its leadership in seeking to strengthen the global game, despite being forced to discontinue plans for a World Nations Championship, after failing to win unanimous support from Unions.
NZR Chief Executive Steve Tew said:
“We want to acknowledge the tireless efforts and leadership from World Rugby to get the proposal to this point.
“Creating a new international competition was always going to be a challenging conversation for world rugby nations.
“The challenges have been complex and multi-faceted as we sought to find a model that balanced demands of fans, with the welfare of all players, growing the commercial strength of our competition and ensuring we were providing a pathway for other nations.
“While there were some serious issues to be resolved such as the varying positions on promotion/relegation, New Zealand Rugby remained committed to continuing dialogue to see if these could be overcome for the greater good of the game.
“For that reason, New Zealand Rugby and other SANZAAR nations signed the World Rugby letter of offer to take the process to the next stage.
“We will continue the work that the SANZAAR nations have being doing in parallel to this process on alternative options beyond 2021. We have an excellent competition in the Investec Rugby Championship as our starting point to grow the game, and we remain focussed to including opportunities for Pacific unions and emerging nations to grow the game.”