Pacific nations may boycott Rugby World Cup


World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper says the Pacific Nations will not be "closed out" from their proposed "World League" competition despite reports suggesting otherwise.

Reports said the competition would be limited to established Six Nations and Rugby Championship sides along with the United States and Japan.

The IRPC understands that promotion and relegation will not form part of the new proposal, preventing tier two and emerging nations from accessing top level competitive matches and creating a ceiling on their aspirations to advance and improve.

There has been a furious reaction to the report in the New Zealand Herald on Thursday that the Pacific Islands would have no representatives among the 12 teams in the top tier with Fiji having been replaced by the USA, and that there would be no promotion or relegation for 10 seasons.

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Touching on World Rugby's consultation, or lack of, with the players, the IRPA statement made mention of "inconsistent engagement" - effectively code for little or no engagement. "So that's the impact that we have".

He has been working with elite athletes for more than 15 years, covering a wide range of sports including football and boxing and has been a vital member of World Rugby's Medical Commission Conference and Concussion Working Group.

"We provide nearly 20 per cent of all professional players in terms of heritage and nearly a quarter of the players at the next World Cup will be of Pacific Islands heritage". 'And nearly a quarter of the players at the next World Cup will be of Pacific Islands heritage.

All Blacks captain Kieran Read has spoken of his concerns for the integrity of the game and the welfare of its players following news that World Rugby is about to sign off on a major new competition structure. We cannot add to the work load burden of our players with out making other adjustments and we are also mindful of the role of our other competitions Investec Super Rugby and Mitre 10 Cup.

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Fiji, Samoa and Tonga are left out of the latest proposal but Tew but there needs to be a pathway for them to join when they are capable of doing so. "It wouldn't surprise me at all if those players did decide to do that", Sio said.

They grumbled about the disparity of disbursements for teams participating at the 2015 tournament, with top-tier nations receiving multi-million pound compensation payments for forgone revenues, while smaller nations received one-off payments of about £150,000 ($198,000).

That comes after revelations the league would include no Pacific teams, with no promotion-relegation.

The latest developments come after a meeting held between the sport's tier-one unions and worldwide tournament organisers took place in Los Angeles last month, where World Rugby's chief executive Brett Gosper tabled his vision for a universal competition.

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"World Rugby's commitment to player welfare matters is unwavering and we will continue to engage and give full consideration to the welfare of players within the ongoing discussions", said a statement. We can not go into the detail of any of the proposals because there is a layer of commercial sensitivity to these discussions as we are trying to introduce new capital to our game.