Major Reforms

World Rugby unveils global calendar overhaul

It is a major reform of a sport that is struggling to provide meaningful opportunities to smaller unions, and comes at a time when the likes of Portugal and Fiji have shown the promise of Tier Two sides at the World Cup in France.

The 2027 World Cup in Australia will expand from the current 20 to 24 teams, split into six first round groups each containing four sides.

There will be a round of 16 added and, despite more competing sides, will be shortened from seven weeks to six.