Uninterrupted Super Rugby season announced as part of sweeping changes to international windows

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1 NEWS | Associated Press

World Rugby has announced changes to the timing of international windows in a new global calendar to run from 2020 to 2032.

It's not on the schedule yet, but the drums are beating for the teams ranked one and two to meet at Twickenham.
Source: Breakfast

The current June international window will move to the first three weeks of July to allow the Southern Hemisphere club championship, Super Rugby, to be completed prior to the matches.

There will also be a minimum of a 39 percent increase in matches between top and second-tier nations over that period, including a commitment from England and France to tour the Pacific Islands.

"Agreement on an optimised global calendar that provides certainty and sustainability over the decade beyond Rugby World Cup 2019 represents an historic milestone for the global game," World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said in a statement from the organisation on Thursday.

The November international window in which Southern Hemisphere sides head north will start a week earlier to give players from the SANZAAR region a longer break in between seasons.

New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew has welcomed the movement which "paves the way for an uninterrupted Investec Super Rugby season".

"National unions have worked hard to agree this calendar which gives us great long term certainty around our international fixtures.

"This is an excellent outcome for New Zealand with Super Rugby able to run without the disruptive June break, and provides the optimum preparation for the July international window."

The changes also see tier two nations set to be more involved.

Southern Hemisphere teams have committed to hosting tier-two teams in July, while Georgia and Romania will also entertain Six Nations sides in that window.

Six Nations sides have also guaranteed they will host a minimum of six matches against second-tier teams in November.

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