Thursday 09 March 2017


Official request has been approved by Rugby Europe Board of Directors


Thursday 9 March 2017: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



Official request has been approved by Rugby Europe Board of Directors


The first meeting of Rugby Europe Board of Directors, elected during the last December General Assembly Meeting, took place this Thursday March 9th in Paris.

Discussion about “6 Nations opening to the other European unions” was among topics on the agenda of the meeting.

“The development of rugby in Europe entails each Union having the opportunity to play regularly with the best teams in order to raise standards. Promotion / relegation system belongs to Rugby Europe ethical code in all our competitions” – declared M. Octavian Morariu, President of Rugby Europe.

Thereby, the 17 Members of Board of Directors, representing the 48 unions affiliated to the European governing body, validated unanimously the drafting and sending of an official Letter to the 6 Nations Limited company, to open dialogue about a closer integration of competitions and particularly the opening of the 6 Nations Tournament to the other European unions.

“It is not about punishing a specific team because of its results in the Tournament. We don’t want to compromise what has been achieved until now, but opening a dialogue seems to us crucial for the benefit of all. On a sports point of view considering the development and future of our sport; for economic consideration as Europe cannot be limited to 6 countries; and finally, politically, because we are a continent whose official governing body is Rugby Europe.

We are open to consider all alternatives, either a direct relegation, the insertion of an annual or every two-year play-off system; the integration of one or two teams or the setup of a real European competition, etc… We are aware this process will require time to build a common project and achieve it; but we need to start a real collaboration in the interests of European rugby growth.”

The request will be officially sent by letter in the next few days.

Meanwhile, Rugby Europe Championship 2017 continues as an opportunity to access to the next Rugby World Cup 2019. The fourth round will be played this week-end with 3 games: on Saturday: Germany / Spain and Belgium/ Romania. On Sunday: Georgia / Russia. The last round will take place the week after with a Romania/Georgia clash which will crown the 2017 Champion. All games are live-streamed on


Rugby Europe is the governing body responsible for the promotion, development, administration and management of international competitions for the 48 member unions across Europe. The association organizes over 80 international games and 20 rugby tournaments each year, among which Men’s fifteen-a-side European Championships (Championship, Trophy, Conference 1 & 2, Development), U20 and U18 European Championships and the 7s’ Grand Prix Series (Men and Women).