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Full Six Nations to be played in autumn again

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World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont has conceded it is possible that no international rugby will take place in 2020 due to restrictions on travel and public gatherings. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont has conceded it is possible that no international rugby will take place in 2020 due to restrictions on travel and public gatherings. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire.

PA

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont has conceded it is possible that no international rugby will take place in 2020 due to restrictions on travel and public gatherings. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire.

Ireland may get an earlier-than-expected chance to avenge their humiliating defeat to England at Twickenham if plans to play an emergency Six Nations in October and November come to fruition.

After running off the four remaining matches of the incomplete campaign in September, cash-strapped unions are considering starting from scratch again a month later.

Ireland's fixtures against Italy and France are outstanding, as is England's trip to Rome and Wales' home match against Scotland which all fell victim to the Covid-19 shutdown.

Andy Farrell's men remain in contention to win the tournament if they can win in Dublin and Paris.

With the summer tours unlikely to go ahead and the November internationals now at risk, rugby officials are willing to look at options to rescue lost revenue and stave off huge financial losses.

According to 'The Rugby Paper', a full Six Nations across eight weeks in October and November is one such option, while a home-and-away tournament before and after Christmas is another on the table.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont has conceded it is possible that no international rugby will take place in 2020 due to restrictions on travel and public gatherings, but unions and clubs are desperate to play again in order to generate revenue.

Unions are looking at ways of making the cross-Hemisphere tours work, but it looks increasingly like travel bans could scupper those matches.

The IRFU have publicly stated that they will "have a problem" financially if the shut-down extends beyond September and the union will have been alarmed by Health Minister Simon Harris's assertion that "it is highly unlikely we're going to be seeing very large kind of mass gatherings this year" in yesterday's Sunday Independent.

Emerged

It has emerged that the planned €345m investment in the tournament by Luxemburg-based investment firm CVC Capital is set to be delayed as a result of the pandemic.

Although the firm's planned purchase of a €138m stake in the Guinness PRO14 looks set to be approved in the coming weeks to go with their initial investment in the English Premiership, a report in 'The Financial Times' indicates the group's biggest investment is being held up by the unions who are trying to establish the true cost of the shut-down.