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Wales set to play in new eight-team tournament this autumn with a final planned for December

Wales Online logo Wales Online 4 days ago Anthony Woolford
Wales and England are set to meet in an eight nation tournament staged in November and December according to reports © Ben Evans/Huw Evans Agency Wales and England are set to meet in an eight nation tournament staged in November and December according to reports

Wayne Pivac's Wales look set to play in an expanded Six Nations later this year featuring guest countries Japan and Fiji.

The new eight team tournament will reportedly take place in November and December, with two pools of four and a December 5 final between the group winners.

The plan is for the other nations to play off against each other to decide final placings.

The proposal is being mooted, according to reports, amid ongoing talks over the remainder of the 2020 Test schedule.

The Daily Telegraph report Japan and Fiji are expected to be confirmed as the two guest sides to join the Six Nations countries as negotiations between unions and clubs continue this week.

If it gets off the ground, the new eight nations tournament would replace Wales' planned autumn games against New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and Fiji.

It is claimed the group matches are being pencilled in for November 14, 21 and 28, with the final weekend after that on the first weekend of December.

The teams would probably be split on a seeding basis.

Japan's heroics at reaching the quarter-finals of their Rugby World Cup last autumn makes Jamie Joseph's exciting side a huge draw with fans in Europe, with some pundits claiming they would be a welcome addition to an extended Six Nations Championship on a regular basis.

The refreshing brand of rugby in the pool stages, that saw them beat Scotland who failed to make it out of the group, would be a ticket seller for the proposed eight-team event this year.

And while Fiji under-achieved last autumn in the global spectacular being in Pool D with Wales, Australia, Georgia and Uruguay, the Pacific Islanders possess some of the most exciting attackers in the game in the likes of Semi Radradra, Leone Nakarawa and Josua Tuisova.

The Telegraph report significant progress has been made on the international fixture list for this autumn with the new-look tournament viewed as “the most likely option”.

How the outstanding Six Nations games are completed, with Wales still to play Scotland, remains a little unclear.

World Rugby had been scheduled to meet today to discuss the way forward, but that has been cancelled to give stakeholders more time to study proposals on the way forward.

There are concerns over the participation of New Zealand, Australia and South Africa in the traditional autumn Test window in the northern hemisphere because of coronavirus.

France want the Test window extended to six games, but World Rugby said they would not be rushed into a decision.

"We are ensuring that all parties have the time that they require to deliver the best-possible 2020 calendar solution for the global game," a World Rugby spokesman said.

"Given ongoing constructive and productive meetings between stakeholders, we will not be putting a date on any decision at this stage."

World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper said last week that the governing body's role was one of "facilitating an outcome that is good for all and we are listening and understand the views of all stakeholders".

"It is important that the process recognises and supports the needs of ]the clubs and the unions," he said.

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