Proposed World Rugby League will have negative impact on rugby - Mtawarira

Springbok legend Tendai Mtawarira says a threat by Pacific Island rugby nations to pull out of the World Cup will be a major blow for the region. Samoa, Tonga and Fiji are protesting a proposal by World Rugby to establish a 12-team league to begin next year, which will allegedly exclude the trio. All three nations have qualified for the World Cup in Japan later this year and the Pacific Rugby Players Welfare wants its 600 members to discuss a motion to make themselves unavailable for the global showpiece. Veteran South Africa prop Mtawarira says the news is not good for the sport. If the league materialises, it will comprise of teams from the Rugby Championship, Six Nations as well as Japan and the United States of America, leaving the Pacific Islands bereft of test rugby for the foreseeable future. It will also present a demanding playing and travel schedule for teams and will impact on the Rugby Championship and Six Nations, which may be cut to a single round. The format will see the top teams compete in semi-finals and a final, resulting in five weeks of consecutive action for some players. Mtawarira believes it will affect players’ well-being. Mtawarira, who boasts over 107 test caps, says if the tournament goes ahead the Springboks will simply have to adapt. Over the years there has been a number of changes to the formats of Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship forcing teams to adjust