SPORTS

Fiji Could Play With 6 Nations

Fiji Rugby Union CEO confirms discussions are going on but a lot will depend on the lifting  of the borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic   
02 Jul 2020 16:17
Fiji Could Play With 6 Nations
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians (left-right) Eroni Mawi, Mesulame Dolokoto, Setraeki Tuicuvu, Metuisela Talebula, Semi Radradra and Jale Vatubua, who are all based in Europe.

The Fiji Airways Flying Fijians could be playing as one of the two guest nations in the Six Nations, an inaugural eight-team tournament in November and December.

This was confirmed to SUNsports yesterday by Fiji Rugby Union chief executive officer John O’Connor indicating that they have been part of the discussions.

Fiji and Japan are to be the two guest nations to join the competition.

“This will be good for Fiji Rugby, if it eventuates,” O’Connor said.

“We’ve got other factors to consider like the lifting of the borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All of this will have to wait until all restrictions are lifted.”

O’Connor said one of Fiji’s advantage was that majority of the Fijian players were based in Europe.

The World Rugby council meeting which was scheduled for Tuesday to vote on allowing international rugby to be played in October as well as November has been postponed until mid-July to allow for talks to continue.

The tournament would replace the traditional autumn international Test matches between teams from the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

UK newspaper The Telegraph reported that the plan arose from ongoing discussions between rugby unions and clubs around the world about the 2020 calendar and a bigger restructuring of the global calendar.

The Telegraph said the Six Nations proposal was “the most likely” outcome of a restructures of this year’s calendar.

Expected difficulties around travel restrictions, concerns over the risk of COVID-19 spread, and it delayed start of the Southern Hemisphere’s Rugby Championship are reported to be feeding into the decision.

It is not clear if the remaining matches in this year’s Six Nations, which was cut short due to the pandemic, will take place.

If the Six Nations plan goes ahead, Fiji and Japan would join England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales in a competition organised into two groups of four teams, with a final between the group winners on December 5. News website Walesonline reported that group matches have been pencilled for November 14, 21 and 28.

New Zealand’s All Blacks are currently scheduled to play England in London on November 7, Wales in Cardiff on the following weekend, and then Scotland in Edinburgh.

Australia is to play Ireland in Dublin on the weekend of November 7-8, France in Paris on November 14-15, and England in London on November 28.

South Africa is to play Italy on November 7-8, Ireland in Dublin on November 14-15, and France in Paris on November 21-22.

Argentina, Fiji, Japan and Tonga also currently have tests scheduled against the European nations. These matches look unlikely to go ahead if the proposed Six Nations does.

Edited by Simione Haravanua

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