The 9th edition of the Rugby World Cup 2021, scheduled in New Zealand from September 2021 in Auckland's legendary Eden Park, is ready for tonight's draw. Nine teams have already qualified, divided into 4 bands on the basis of the women's World Rugby Ranking in force on 1 January 2020.
The tournament, postponed and modified in terms of already countless formula and timing, does not yet have an official start date set in the calendar. Some indiscretions speak of a tournament overlapping the Six Nations 2021, others of the possibility of playing it immediately after, but at the moment there are no certainties.
The draw Bands for the Rugby World Cup 2021 Band 1 - Black Ferns, England, Canada Band 2 - France, Australia, United States Band 3 - Wales, Europe 1 (European qualifier tournament winner), South Africa Band 4 - Asia 1, Fiji, winner of the repechage tournament
The Six Nations 20201 is at risk!
The most important matter is the possibility of hosting teh crowds in the stadiums. with a reduced number federations would see their revenues drastically reduced and this is giving rise to the intention, with the countries of Great Britain in the front row, to postpone the next edition until a later date.
While the revenue from television rights would still remain, the share of revenue represented by the box office still has a large weight in federal revenue. The Six Nations has long been a small gold mine for the national teams that play there: looking at the Italian situation, the revenues from this tournament in 2019 were more than 42% of the total turnover of the Fir It is still being discussed, but many are already of this idea.
"We have to study all the hypotheses, but it is one of those we are evaluating," explained Six Nations director general Benjamin Morel. What is certain is that starting the tournament from scratch without an audience in the stadiums would be inconvenient for all the teams taking part in it.
England rugby team has a turnover that is almost 200 million higher than the Italian one. It therefore becomes very simple to understand what the weight of the public and sponsors that such an event is able to create and why the proposal to postpone the tournament for a few months was born in UK.
Moving it in the summer is just as complicated because next is the "year of the Lions", that is the moment when a team made up of the best players from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland challenges the super powers of the southern hemisphere Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
The event takes place every four years and occupies the entire summer time window. Having its origins in 1888, it is a very popular and loved event among British fans. The only possible time frame therefore remains next November, instead of the classic test matches, already canceled this year.
The main obstacle is finding new possible dates in which to play the 2021 edition. February is probably too early for fans to return. There are those who propose to start between March and April, but here the hypothesis is concrete that it is the clubs that say no, not wanting to give up their players to the national teams outside the classic time windows.
The question therefore remains quite complex, between economic interests at stake and a low propensity to give up after an already complicated year for the federation's calendars and coffers. While waiting for the vaccine, no one seems willing to take a step back.