Rugby's SANZAAR and Six Nations unions have entered into a consultation process, aimed towards the creation of an aligned, global rugby calendar.
In a joint statement from the two parties released tonight, both SANZAAR (made up of South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina) and the Six Nations (England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy) outlined the desire for a single, aligned calendar from which global rugby could operate.
"Even though there may be different preferences, from the outset the nations have adopted a mindset that has sought to eliminate self-interest and recognise that the international and club game have shared mutual benefits that if approached and managed correctly can enable both to flourish," they said.
"A further consultation process, in total transparency with unions, clubs and players, will commence as all parties work towards an aligned global calendar that can deliver a clear and coherent narrative.
"The nations together with other key stakeholders remain open to shape the options that have been developed in an effort to resolve an issue that has held the game back for many years and are committed to putting rugby on a progressive path."
The proposed global calendar would allow nations greater clarity over overlapping club and international commitments, as well as improve player welfare with dedicated Test match windows.
The statement added the two parties wanted to, "restore public faith in the core values of rugby and show strong collective leadership in the best interests of the game".
Another point from the joint statement outlines the need to "define clear high-performance pathways for Emerging Nations through the delivery of an internationally more inclusive game."