We finally have some agreement on a global calendar. World Rugby's current calendar, which has tests in June and regularly scheduled visits from countries like Ireland and Italy to Tier II nations, runs out after the 2019 World Cup. There have been big disagreements in the past over the timing of matches, especially in the summer where the June window often bumped up against the end of the European club playoffs and interrupted the Super Rugby season. That's been fixed as the June window has now been moved to July. Also, the November test window will be moved up one week.
This will impact the U.S. but not be a whole lot. It does give some breathing room after the Club Nationals but it does run into the heart of the 7s season. Overall, hosting test matches in June isn't going to be that much different than hosting in July expect that it might be hotter in places.
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The new calendar will also impact the U.S. in that they may have more of a chance to play Tier I nations. More from World Rugby:
With rugby experiencing record global participation, fan-base and commercial growth, the schedule aims to accelerate the competitiveness of international rugby through unprecedented and annual opportunities for the Pacific Islands, USA, Canada, Japan and the European nations, including Georgia and Romania. Emerging rugby powers will be integrated into the July and November windows, providing annual opportunities against the SANZAAR and Six Nations unions across July and November. In addition, a rotation principle that includes emerging rugby powers will deliver greater schedule equity, promoting more meaningful, compelling fixtures and supporting World Rugby’s objective to increase the competitiveness of the global game:
- Record minimum of 110 tier one v tier two matches over the period as emerging rugby nations are integrated into the schedule throughout the period (a 39 per cent increase on the previous schedule)
- SANZAAR Unions committed to hosting tier two nations in July window, creating a blend of opposition
- France and England to tour the Pacific Islands while USA, Canada and Japan also host tours.
- Ability for rankings to determine inclusion of tier two teams in the schedule after Rugby World Cup 2019 and 2023 tournaments to ensure top emerging teams at the time are provided with tier one opportunities based on merit
- Six Nations unions to collectively host a guaranteed minimum of six tier two fixtures in each November window
World Rugby prepared a video on the announcement: