Major unions must work together to ensure Test rugby has a future

World Rugby meets on Wednesday with the game at a crossroads as the Rugby Football Union considers a 13-team Premiership

The moment of truth is approaching – not so much on the field in various looming finals but off it. For better or worse the next two or three weeks could shape rugby union for the next decade and beyond, not just domestically but across the world. Not since the sport turned professional have so many executives leaned back in their office chairs, gazed up at the ceiling and silently prayed for deliverance.

And the really interesting part? No one is entirely certain yet how things will pan out. World Rugby, the sport’s governing body, will gather for its council meeting in Dublin on Wednesday, for example, still unsure whether its proposed Nations Championship is a runner. Those who want it to happen are encouraged that all the key stakeholders have at least agreed to re-examine the small print of a potential deal they have been advised could generate a collective £5bn over the next 12 years. No firm announcement is expected this week but some kind of resolution is anticipated early next month.

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