World Rugby has revealed its intended model for the global competition they are proposing after details of the competition that surfaced last week were met with plenty of backlash.
The sport's governing body released a statement about the competition this morning alongside an explanatory video which shows the league would have three tiers, a relegation-promotion system and run in only two of the four years of a World Cup cycle.
"Contrary to reports, our proposed competition provides opportunities for all teams to compete at the top level on merit, with promotion and relegation," World Rugby said in the statement.
"Under this model, the Pacific Islands and all teams outside the current 6 Nations and The Rugby Championship would have a potential pathway.
"With the proposed model incorporating competitions that are not owned or run by World Rugby, not all unions are presently in favour of immediate promotion and relegation.
"We continue to consider the feedback, but remain absolutely committed to an eventual pathway for all."
For more on the proposed Global League, read here:
- All Blacks skipper Kieran Read highlights major concerns with new World League
- Former All Blacks and Manu Samoa halfback Ofisa Tonu'u says World League needs the Pacific
- Ardie Savea slams rugby's World League, saying it's 'shutting out our Pacific brothers'
- World Rugby calls emergency meeting to address backlash of proposed global league
- Pacific players encouraged by World Rugby's 'massive turnaround' towards proposed World League
World Rugby said they wanted the Nations Championship to debut in 2022 with the 6 Nations, The Rugby Championship and British and Irish Lions "completely retained and protected as jewels in the calendar".
In the competition's top two divisions, as reported, the league would be split into European and Rest of the World conferences. Teams would play the other 11 in their tier once before the top two teams from each conference would play cross-section semis before a final.
However, World Rugby added the top teams from each conference in the second division would play off with the lowest-placed teams in the top division for promotion.
The proposed league would also provide qualification and seeding for future World Cups with World Rugby hoping to expand the competition to 24 teams in 2027.
"Change is always difficult, and nobody expected complex multi-stakeholder discussions to be simple, however for a sport to grow and thrive, it must explore ways to innovate and evolve."