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."
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry