Rugby Australia Chairman Hamish McLennan has revealed that his organisation would like to host a ‘mini World Cup’ in Australia in July.
“We are still expecting the Rugby Championship to go ahead this year, but perhaps we can add to it and create a ‘mini World Cup,” McLennan told the Financial Times. “We have the French in July, but if anyone else wants to come out, great. We have a significant British and Irish population here and South Africans. We are open to creating a new tournament and keeping the international calendar going.”
It’s unclear at this stage whether or not the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa will go ahead, and it’s understood that the proposed tournament could run in parallel with the Rugby Championship and involve any number of teams from Europe.
Australia has been very successful in its efforts to contain the coronavirus, consequently hosting the Rugby Championship in 2020 and reintroducing crowds to a number of sporting events since.
In contrast, McLennan described the rugby calendar in Europe and South Africa as ‘sketchy’, as these areas still battle to get to grips with rising cases.
A ‘mini World Cup’ could boost the coffers of all the participating unions, but would be a particularly lucrative venture for the hosts.