World Rugby has turned down a proposal from former RFU CEO Francis Baron for a mini World Cup to be held in 2021 to give the game a financial boost.
Francis Baron believed that a ‘Coronavirus Cup of World Rugby’ next summer could significantly ease the economic hardship facing the global game because of the pandemic.
It was a proposal to have the leading 16 nations play in a mini world cup in 2021 in a bid to collect funds that would help the game recover from the Coronavirus slump.
World Rugby has released a statement ruling any support for such plans.
“World Rugby notes a proposal by former RFU CEO Francis Baron suggesting the organization of a major international rugby event in the UK in 2021 to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on global rugby,” reads the statement.
“World Rugby does not intend to pursue such a proposal.”
“All stakeholders continue to progress productive discussions regarding the immediate global COVID-19 financial relief strategy and international rugby calendar optimization, both of which will further the success of Rugby World Cup 2023 in France,” the statement summarised.
Baron had argued that the mini world cup would be a necessary sacrifice to forego the British and Irish Lions Tour of South Africa.
“The 2015 World Cup generated net profits for the game of around £400 million ($A741 million). I believe this could -generate a net profit for distribution to unions of £200 to £250 million ($A370 million).”
“This would be in addition to the £80 million ($A148 million) World Rugby support funding package already in place,” said Baron in an interview with The Telegraph.
Rugby continues to be on a standstill owing to the Corona Virus spread but there is hope in international rugby returning soon, as New Zealand gave the greenlight on Super Rugby Aotearoa to be played.