If all goes according to plan, Namibia will be amongst the countries that stand to immensely benefit from a new major global rugby competition, planned for 2026.
Plans are afoot by World Rugby, the world’s rugby governing body, to introduce a new and broader competition that will be divided into two divisions, with the first and second division consisting of teams from the northern and southern hemisphere.
The proposed competition, according to reports, will be known as the “Nations Championship” and would be held biennially in even years to avoid clashing with the Rugby World Cup, and British and Irish domestic competitions and tours.
The new competition, which has the potential to become the second biggest global rugby event just behind the World Cup, will consist of 12 teams in the first division and 12 in the second division.
World Rugby is currently vouching rugby unions the world over to commit to the finalisation of the new competition, with a formal vote to be held in November later this year.
The first division would consist of England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy from the traditional Six Nations competition, who will be joined by southern hemisphere outfits South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Fiji and Japan.
The second division will feature the likes of Namibia, Samoa, Tonga, USA, Canada, Uruguay, Chile, Georgia, Romania, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands.
In the top division, each northern hemisphere team would play a southern hemisphere rival once, either home or away, while the Six Nations outfits would play their away games in July of that particle year before hosting the southern hemisphere teams in November.
After the six fixtures, the top two teams would meet in a grand finale, while there would also be two relegation play-offs against leading teams from the second tier.
Other issues to be ironed out ahead of the competition’s finalisation is how the revenue will be shared and whether clubs would release players for a prolonged period during the course of the competition.
Meanwhile, World Rugby has also confirmed that Australia will host the 2027 and USA the 2031 men’s World Cups respectively, while England will host the 2025 and the US the 2029 women’s World Cups.