Fears new rugby tournament will kick smaller nations to touch

The Six Nations countries and the big southern hemisphere teams are set to join a new biennial competition – but tier two sides will have to wait until 2030 before getting a chance to take part

Ireland’s Dan Sheehan scores a try in the Six Nations match against England in March: the Six Nations teams will be part of the new tournament. Picture: Getty

The new international rugby tournament featuring the Six Nations teams and South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina has led to concerns about the development of the sport in lower ranked countries.

The new biennial rugby tournament, which will be held in 2026, is designed to “drive growth and long-term sustainability” in the sport, according to rugby chiefs.

However, there are concerns that it will limit the appeal of international rugby in countries such as ...