NZ Rugby boss Steve Tew pleased with Nations Championship proposal

While it's too early to pop the champagne, New Zealand Rugby boss Steve Tew has cautiously endorsed World Rugby's latest global competition proposal.

The sport's governing body hosted crisis talks with rugby's top powerbrokers on Friday (NZ time) in Dublin to discuss its plans, after fans, players and unions slammed its original proposal.

The latest plans include a three-division format, and a system of promotion and relegation, backed by a commercial partnership that would see the sport earn £5 billion (NZ$973b) over 12 years.

While there were still more details to be ironed out, Tew told Newshub that he liked what he saw.

"We're pleased there is a proposal on the table of some significance, because the one we've been working on is great," he said.

"It would be foolish not to have a good look at it and that's what we're doing.

"There is always more to a number and what we're working towards now is significant due diligence on both sides. They'll want a decent look under our hood too, which is the next stage."

Part of the backlash against the proposal is the promotion-relegation rule, which would see teams move between divisions each year.

Promotion and relegation is currently used in club sports, and Tew believes it should be part of a Nations Championship.

"There needs to be a pathway, and promotion-relegation comes with its challenges, because it is a threat to existing business models and countries' history.

"If we're ever going to bring other teams into the mix and new markets into the game, we need to have a pathway and that is how it would happen.

"There is a difference of opinion around the table."

Tew will now return to New Zealand to speak to stakeholders, before giving the governing body a 'yay' or 'nay' answer, which could enable further discussions.

Newshub.

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