It’s been reported that World Cup-style tournament could force South Africa to delay their plans to host the British and Irish Lions in 2021.
The brainchild of former RFU Chief Executive Francis Baron, it is part of a radical plan to raise up to £250-million to address the financial crisis facing the global game caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Former RFU chief executive Francis Baron behind radical plans to raise up to £250 million by staging a special World Cup-style tournament in the UK and Ireland next summer | exclusive by @GavinMairshttps://t.co/Yb0qc3Z8tW— Telegraph Rugby (@TelegraphRugby) May 26, 2020
According to a report in The Telegraph a draft proposal for a 16-team invitational tournament – to be staged in June and July next year – have already been submitted to both World Rugby and the Rugby Football Union.
The tournament has been given the provisional title of the ‘Coronavirus Cup of World Rugby’.
“The RFU should take a leadership position and propose to other major unions and World Rugby that a special one-off tournament be held in the UK and Ireland in June and July next year,” Baron told Telegraph Sport.
“Its key selling point is that all the money raised would be for keeping the game of rugby alive around the world.
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“I have talked to one or two senior colleagues and they all think the country would get right behind it, as they did with the tournament in England in 2015.
It would involve 31 matches over six weeks at venues including the national stadiums of each of the four Home Unions.
The Telegraph report claims about £15-million of the funds from the tournament will be set aside to save struggling grassroots clubs in England.
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LIST | 5 players from abroad who could be capped by England in the future
These five have shown enough ability or promise to suggest they may be future England stars in waiting.
Foreign-born stars, such as Nathan Hughes and the Vunipola brothers, have already shown how integral they can be for the Red Rose after making the step up to International rugby.
Here are five players who could pull on the white jersey in the future:
1. Ruan Ackermann – Gloucester (South Africa)
His Dad Johan Ackermann, who departed as Gloucester boss for Japan earlier this month, confirmed that his son will be staying with the Cherry & Whites to persue international honours, and has already been in contact with Eddie Jones. The imposing number eight qualify for England on residency grounds in August 2020 — just four months before World Rugby’s new eligibility laws kick in.