Bernard Lapasset has suggested that the Six Nations might be about to undergo a radical format change
Various commentators have argued for either the outright inclusion of Georgia in the Six Nations, or at least, a system of relegation and promotion
Georgia’s successful showing at the World Cup and Italy’s apparent regression, those calls have grown louder
Outgoing World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset believes the Six Nations should be reformed to include promotion and relegation.
Lapasset feels the tournament needs to do more to enable other nations in Europe – who currently compete in the European Nations Cup – to develop.
However, it appeared that any such suggestions were set to be ignored, after John Feehan, Chief Executive of the Six Nations maintained that the Championship was a closed tournament.
“This is not a subject on our agenda and, frankly, it is not the job of the Six Nations to provide solutions for Georgia, Romania or anyone else.”
Nevertheless, in an interview with French news site, Sport 24, World Rugby Chairman, Bernard Lapasset, has argued that the winners of the European Nations Cup should, at least, be given the opportunity to play off for a position in the Six Nations.
“We need to change the format of the 6 Nations Championship. If it wants to look into the future, the competition should open up.
“With a system or relegation and promotion. Either direct or via a play-off.”
Although Lapasset will step down as Chairman of the game’s governing body next month, his sentiment will be greeted with enthusiasm in nations such as Georgia, as will the fact that Lapasset has urged legislators to move quickly so as to ‘give a vision and a hope to these teams’.
However, Lapasset argued that his likely successor, Bill Beaumont, will find it difficult to implement such a radical change to the format of the Six Nations.
Nevertheless, he did point out that the incoming Vice President, Agustin Pichot, is an advocate for the inclusion of Georgia.