Next LIVE rugby on TV
to be announced
Wed, 31 Jul 2013 14:30:05 +0000
  • Switch Edition
ESPN SCRUM / News
Follow@ESPNSCRUM
News
'Time to separate club and international calendar'
ESPN Staff
May 18, 2014
New Bath owner Bruce Craig talks to the media following confirmation he would be taking over the Premiership club, Farleigh House, Bath, England, April 14, 2010
© Getty Images
Enlarge

Bath chairman Bruce Craig has issued a manifesto calling for changes to the way club and international rugby co-exist.

In an interview with the Rugby Paper Craig outlined his ideas for the way rugby ought to run in the future, separating club and international rugby in a way which makes both sustainable.

The major change would be for the current June and November Test windows to be scrapped and merged into a new six-week international window running from mid-August to late-September, enabling outgoing and incoming tours to be confined within a single block. Outside that, the Six Nations would be cut from seven to six weeks in the second window of international fixtures.

Those changes would mean the Northern Hemisphere club rugby season would be in two blocks - the first from October to mid-February and then from April to June. The Southern Hemisphere's Super Rugby season would be completed in one block between February and July, with the Rugby Championship being played in October and November. World Cups and Lions tours could be accommodated within the August to September window.

Craig said he anticipated hostility from the Six Nations unions and the IRB but that could be overcome. "What we have is based on history and is a remnant of the bygone amateur and touring days," he said. "If we were to have a blank piece of paper, we certainly wouldn't have the fragmented nature of the international and club scene in the North and South. Anyone sensible outside rugby would say it doesn't make sense.

"There should be a separation of the club and international calendar. There's no way the club game should be devalued by playing on the same day as Test matches, so one of the key things is to have different windows in which to do things.

"Nothing in the Northern Hemisphere is based on logic, it's purely based on historical blocks like the Six Nations, which everyone says is the Holy Grail which makes international rugby all its money, and the June and November blocks."

The June block, he said, was the worst of the lot. "An England tour at the end of a really tough season is very hard on players. It should be scrapped and an extended international block later in the year would be the best solution for English rugby."

Asked if his plans are simply those of a club chairman putting his interests ahead of the greater national ones, he said it was not that simple. "We all know players want to play international rugby and we want the national team to be at the pinnacle of the English game as well. The problem with all of this is that the Unions and IRB all like the status quo. They don't necessarily want to change anything but we need to be progressive in England and push things forward, which is what I and others fully intend to do."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - United States GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Darts - European Championship
    Golf - McGladrey Classic
    Golf - Perth International
    Tennis - Swiss Indoors
    Tennis - Valencia Open
    Tennis - WTA Finals
  • Rugby

    Eagles coach wants 'blood and guts'

    US Eagles coach Mike Tolkin has called on his side to leave nothing on Soldier Field bar "blood and guts" when they face the All Blacks on Saturday

  • Formula 1

    Sauber 'disturbed' by state of F1

    Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn says the way in which Formula One has dealt with the collapse of the grid's two smallest teams is "disturbing"

  • Tennis

    Federer cruises as Djokovic sets up Murray tie

    Roger Federer maintained pressure on Novak Djokovic in the race for world No.1 status after a 6-4 6-4 win against Lucas Pouille earned him a place in the last eight at the Paris Masters, before the Serb saw off Gael Monfils to set up a clash with Andy Mur

  • Rugby

    Burgess ready for Bath challenge

    Sam Burgess has revealed his high-profile, six-figure switch of rugby codes was based on "the challenge" that will await him - and not next year's World Cup in England

  • Formula 1

    Rosberg on full attack mode for three races

    Nico Rosberg says the gloves can come off completely in his duel with Lewis Hamilton at the United States Grand Prix now Mercedes has wrapped up the constructors' championship

Sponsored Links
Make $170 in 60 seconds!
Google Vs Facebook, 60 sec. knock out! Choose a champion, Become a Winner!
Make $25 in 1 Minute!
Start trading with the biggest broker! Register now to receive $25 for FREE!