RFU remains steadfast in bid to reduce Six Nations to six weeks

England won the Six Nations for the second successive year in 2017. David Rogers - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images

The Rugby Football Union is standing by its proposal to reduce the length of the Six Nations from seven to six weeks despite facing widespread opposition to their plans.

The union is keen to remove one of the tournament's two fallow weeks in an effort to create space in the calendar for the new global season which takes effect after the 2019 World Cup.

England pair Joe Marler and George Ford have both been critical over the plans to condense the calendar -- with the former describing it as "ridiculous" -- while Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg has also voiced his concerns.

Truncating the tournament would generate greater momentum, but scrapping the two current rest weeks could also be seen to favour England and France because of their bigger playing pools and greater financial might.

And although RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie admits the controversial proposal is not fixed, they are still lobbying for its implementation in three years.

"No, it is not set in stone and it is still under discussion within the Six Nations," Ritchie said on Friday. "The Six Nations need to have some further debate and discussion about that.

"It is an interesting balance between economics in one respect, player welfare in another, and how does that then balance it out? You need to have a look at the total picture.

"The seven-to-six situation is something that we were supportive of and believe it is a decent thing to do. And while we don't think it is that impactful in terms of player welfare, I can understand the concerns from the other nations."