NZ Rugby, All Blacks star welcome groundbreaking proposal for Club World Cup

News of a possible rugby union Club World Cup has today been welcomed, with one All Black claiming it'll help evolve the sport as an entertainment product.

Planned to kick off in 2028, the proposed competition will see 16 teams from Europe, Super Rugby and Japan in a knockout format across four weekends.

Newshub's also learned of plans for a women's competition to be included. 

"Anything that's positive to rugby, is positive to me," All Blacks and Chiefs midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown told Newshub. 

The idea of an expanded calendar has once again been tossed up.  

Anton Lienert-Brown in action for the All Blacks.
Anton Lienert-Brown in action for the All Blacks. Photo credit: Getty Images

The tournament would involve half a dozen Super Rugby sides play eight teams from Europe's Champions Cup and a couple from Japan's League One over four weekends.

 "'I'm always a big fan of innovation, and giving the fans what they want and growing our game," Lienert-Brown added.

And there's belief from the capital the competition could have other benefits.

"You might see a few more teams, or hopefully not too many from here but a few more from there coming down and playing Super Rugby," noted Hurricanes assistant Cory Jane. 

"If not, I think we're going to get good crowds, and that's what we want.  

Newshub understands New Zealand Rugby and respective franchises are keen on the option and remain engaged in conversations.

It's also understood there's a preference for a women's competition of a similar structure to be launched alongside the men's, potentially at the same time.

Crucially, it's understood World Rugby won't put any hurdles in the way of it happening.

"Super Rugby's going well but at the end of the day, we're an entertainment sport," conceded Lienert-Brown. 

"We've got to entertain the fans and I'm sure the fans are very excited about this prospect."

They could soon be chasing other teams in the north as well.