World Rugby

Fiji, Japan axed from top tier in World Rugby's latest make-up of Global League

World Rugby managed to get a period of due diligence from the world's top 12 countries last month but issues around the concept of a promotion-relegation system continues to hinder their efforts to finalise the competition.

The global governing body has already copped plenty of flack for the competition and it could be set for even more with a report surfacing that both Japan and Fiji have been axed from the top tier in the latest revamp of the league model.

World Rugby gives unions more time to consider Nations Championship

Unions had been given until Friday to join a due diligence process that allows a more thorough examination of the concept and the massive financials involved.

Signing up to that wouldn't mean a commitment to joining the Nations Championship, a 12-nation inter-hemisphere extravaganza set for 2022 basically involving the Six Nations teams and an expanded Rugby Championship taking in Fiji and Japan.

World Rugby are proposing two divisions below that with promotion-relegation play-offs coming into action to keep teams hungry.

$10 billion dollar carrot for new competition

The games powerbrokers have met in Dublin with World Rugby tweaking their initial proposal, removing a semi-final meaning most teams would play just 11 matches.

The Nations Championship, which would start from 2022, would involve 2 conferences based on the Six Nations and Rugby Championship with the two top teams meeting in the final.

They still want promotion-relegation although the Six Nations remains a major stumbling block.

World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper says they have an almost 10 billion dollar offer to back the proposal.

Georgia Rugby pleads for a spot in expansion plans

Among them, Georgia.

With a billionaire backer and a Kiwi coach, European rugby's potential sleeping giants want to make their mark.

The powerhouse Georgian pack recently helped England prepare for their Six Nations opener against Ireland, but they hope that's not the closest they get to competing in European rugby's premier international competition.

Georgia want to play against the game's heavyweights and winning the 'most improved' award is no longer an option, according to coach Milton Haig.

World Rugby wants consistency with red cards

A crackdown on head-high tackles has seen a surge in dismissals but opinions have been split on whether the punishments were often too harsh.

"We've got to work on our consistency but at the end of the day, we're trying to change player behaviour and we're trying to do that in the best way we can, and cards are the best way to change player behaviour," Gosper told reporters in Sydney.

"We're trying to lower the tackle height so we can reduce the incidence of concussion and injury, and we know from evidence that that's what that does.

World Rugby to review qualifier

Romanian referee Vlad Iordachescu had to be led away from Spanish players who were furious with the way he officiated their 18-10 defeat last month, which seemed to have ended their hopes of qualifying for the tournament in Japan next year.

Rugby Europe last week delayed a decision on the contentious encounter after Romania and Belgium were accused of fielding ineligible players during the Rugby Europe Championship.

Barrett scoops World Rugby's top prize again

The skilful fly-half joins All Blacks great Richie McCaw as the only player to have retained the award, while Barrett, McCaw and the great Dan Carter are the only three to have won the prize more than once.

Barrett enjoyed another stellar year in international rugby, helping New Zealand retain the Rugby Championship, while he was also a part of the side that drew a thrilling series with the British and Irish Lions 1-1.

World Rugby says SRU not bankrupt

Earlier this month the Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, who is also the Samoa Rugby Union chairman said the union was bankrupt and unable to pay players' wages or pay off their debts.

World Rugby says the union is not bankrupt and that recent statements made by the chairman of the SRU questioning World Rugby's funding package are inaccurate.

World Rugby deny Samoa claims they can't pay or insure players

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, who is also chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union (SRU), said this week that the organisation is "bankrupt".

He also said that there was no money to pay for player insurance and the head coach's salary ahead of matches against Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday and England at Twickenham two weeks later.

A World Rugby statement, however, said the sport's governing body had increased their indirect investment in the SRU's high-performance programme to about $3 million in 2017.

Fiji 7s still searching for consistency

After the highs of winning in Hong Kong, Fiji were upset 24-19 by the United States in the Cup quarter finals in Singapore before series leaders South Africa prevailed 19-14 in their fifth place semi final encounter.

"We've just got to learn to be a little bit more consistent," said Baber.

"We came up against a good American side in the quarter final and they reacted far better than we did and in the South Africa game going down to six men hurt us badly.