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SANZAAR, Six Nations Rugby to launch new international competition

Featured image credit: Richard Glendenning on Unsplash

SANZAAR and Six Nations Rugby are teaming up to launch a new international rugby competition that will be played in the existing July and November Test windows.

SANZAAR and Six Nations Rugby have worked alongside several stakeholders including World Rugby, unions, key leagues, competitions and players to create the new competition.

The competition, which does not have a name yet, will begin in 2026 and will feature each of the four SANZAAR Rugby Championship teams (Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) and the Six Nations sides (England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales).

Two spaces have also been reserved for invitational unions to join the SANZAAR teams. These spaces will be determined via a selection process managed by SANZAAR, supported by World Rugby and international players.

The competition will be jointly owned and operated by SANZAAR and Six Nations Rugby and will take place in alternating years when British & Irish Lions tours and Rugby World Cups are absent from the calendar.

World Rugby will create a second-tier competition for teams from Europe and the rest of the world, with SANZAAR and Six Nations Rugby set to be involved in cementing the link between the two divisions. The establishment of the two competitions will pave the way for promotion and relegation matches.

World Rugby recently launched a similar competition system for the women’s game, WXV. The three-tier competition will commence in October, with New Zealand, South Africa and Dubai set to host matches.