International rugby to resume in October

Wales and England compete for a linout at the Principality Stadium during 2019 Six Nations International rugby will be back this autumn (David Davies/PA)

World Rugby today approved a temporary global player release window between 24th October and the first weekend of December.

The temporary changes had become necessary due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on global rugby activities.

The changes mean that the four postponed Six Nations matches from March can take place across the final two weekends in October.

Four consecutive rounds of international rugby will then follow from 14th November to the first weekend in December.

World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said in a statement: “The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented in its impact on society and sport and throughout this process, all parties have sought to deliver the best-possible outcome to support the interests of international and club rugby and the players.

“Agreement and approval of this schedule is exciting for players and fans and an important step in supporting our unions in mitigating financial impact and optimising the sport’s return from the pandemic in an equitable way.

“These matches will be greatly anticipated by all, and I would like to thank unions, the international and club competitions and players for their input and the fans for their patience as we have sought to get international rugby back up and running.”

As reported by the BBC, this year's Autumn Internationals are expected to be replaced by an eight-team tournament that will see the Six Nations sides joined by Japan and Fiji.

Official confirmation of the revised fixtures is expected in August.

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