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Global season on the table: World Rugby

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5/08/2016 Daniel Gilhooly

World Rugby's new bosses say addressing problems with the global calendar is high on their agenda and are confident of finding a solution.

Chairman Bill Beaumont has been held up as a potential driver of change to the complex season structure, needing to appease demands from nations in both hemispheres, along with the requirements of rich European club competitions.

Beaumont spoke publicly for the first time on the issue during a press conference at the Rio Olympics, where sevens is making its debut.

He admits the calendar is far from perfect and improving it is a priority.

The issue has been discussed regularly with vice-chairman Agustin Pichot since their appointment in May, he said.

"A solution will be found and there is a will to find a solution for it," Beaumont said.

"I think a few lines in the sand have been drawn up by various organisations but I think common sense will see us reach an agreement."

New Zealand Rugby is pushing hard for change, demanding a longer off-season for its players.

Awkward scheduling means Super Rugby goes on hold during the June international window, a period which also features players tired and injured after long European club seasons.

English Rugby Union boss Ian Ritchie dampened hopes of change with his recent comments.

Ritchie doesn't want to shift the Six Nations from February-March, nor tamper with the northern hemisphere November Test window, leaving little wriggle-room elsewhere.

Pichot says change will require goodwill from all parties.

"We need to break the northern-southern hemisphere (divide)," he said.

"I know it's a big task. We are confident we can achieve something by the end of the year, hopefully.

"It won't be perfect, but we are going to sort it out."

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