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Southern Hemisphere’s 6 Nations Championship?

Southern Hemisphere’s 6 Nations Championship?

Rugby as a sport still has some way to go when it comes to global popularity. When you compare it to football and other American sports, sponsorship, and viewership is significantly lower. However, steps are being taken by New Zealand Rugby and the Rugby Union to change that narrative. NZRU, steered by CEO Mark Robinson, realizes any form of success hinges on creating a mutually beneficial model which encompasses involvement from Pacific Island nations and Japan.

Having parted ways with South African club rugby, in the Bulls, Stormers, Sharks, and Lions. The revamped Super Rugby Pasifika tournament has given a chance for the game to be developed in the Pacific region. With representation in the tournament from the Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika. This year’s competition continues to create memorable games evidenced by large crowds in the stadiums and encouraging results for the previously disenfranchised. Last week a Memorandum of Understanding between NZRU and Japan was signed which gives rise to more opportunities between the nations.

According to Mark Robinson, the MOU will help New Zealand rugby capitalize on strategic opportunities with Japan. With the growth of the game in Japan and the numbers to match, there is an investment opportunity worth chasing after.

Furthermore, there are plans to create both a global club tournament similar to the European Heineken Cup and expansion of The Rugby Championship to include the Pacific nations. Football’s European club tournaments which include the UEFA Champions League and Europa, have done well in creating a rich footballing history that makes sense practically and economically and rugby wishes to emulate it. With the best European and Southern hemisphere clubs coming together this should make for a top competition and this is what is at the heart of New Zealand Rugby.

In conclusion, imagine a cup final between The Crusaders and Leinster. Or a Six Nations with Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Fiji, and Japan. That’s where we are headed come 2027. This will change the whole rugby climate and it’s something we should all be excited about.

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