IRB announces new global schedule
May 17, 2010
IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset believes the new global playing schedule will strengthen the Game's standing © Getty Images
The International Rugby Board Council has unveiled a new global ten-year playing schedule which will bring about the return of traditional tours.
Under the terms of the new schedule, which begins in 2012, northern hemisphere teams will tour the southern hemisphere on a rotational basis and will be encouraged to arrange midweek games against representative or club sides.
In addition, the schedule heralds a return to Tours to the Pacific Islands, North America and Japan, as well as the implementation of an integrated Tier 2 fixture list. It was also confirmed that that there will be no change to the limit of Test matches per year.
"The approval of this new global schedule represents an historic landmark for the Game and is the culmination of extensive work that kicked off at the Woking Forum in 2007 where the global Rugby family committed to finding an appropriate schedule that adds value to the June window, provides the catalyst for the growth of our sport and is acceptable to all the Game's major stakeholders," IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said.
"The development of a global schedule is not an easy task. However, this schedule will lay the foundations for Rugby to continue its phenomenal growth throughout the next decade and beyond. I would like to thank all the Unions for their full collaboration and commitment to drafting a schedule that is in the best interests of the Game."
The latest Week in Pictures takes in all the action from the weekend when rugby united behind Samoa
England broke their losing streak, but this was not them clawing their way back among the best, writes Tom Hamilton
Wales were just 13 minutes from a famous victory, but the lessons to be learned in defeat are almost exactly the same as those from previous near-misses, writes Huw Richards
Ahead of England's clash with Samoa, Scrum Sevens takes a wander down memory lane and celebrates seven examples of Pacific Islands magic