'We need to change the Six Nations - it needs a promotion/relegation system'

Bernard Lapasset believes the Six Nations needs to open up to other competitors in the future.

World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset.
World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset.

OUTGOING WORLD RUGBY chairman Bernard Lapasset believes the Six Nations should be reformed to include promotion and relegation.

Lapasset feels the tournament needs to do more to enable other nations in Europe – who currently compete in the European Nations Cup – to develop.

Georgia, who finished third in their pool at the Rugby World Cup last year, Romania and Russia are considered candidates to challenge the continent’s elite in the future.

In order for the competition to remain relevant and improve, Lapasset considers it time to open up the Six Nations to other teams for its next evolutionary step.

“We need to change the format of the Six Nations,” he said in an interview with Le Figaro.

“If it wants to look to the future, this competition should open up and take on a relegation and promotion system.

“Either directly or via a play-off, but we must quickly give a vision, a hope for the [other] teams there.”

Lapasset will step down from his position with World Rugby in May to lead Paris’ bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games.

The Frenchman ranked securing the return of rugby to the Olympics for 2016 – the inaugural sevens tournament will take place in Rio – and promoting the sport in new continents among his greatest achievements.

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He added: “[I am proud of] two things. My predecessor [Syd Millar] had failed to get rugby back in the Olympics.

“When I was elected I set this goal, because if rugby wants to be a major sport, it must be in the Olympic world. I fought, I did two years of campaigning and at the finish I was very proud.

“The second is the opening of new frontiers, with the examples of Argentina, who now participate in the Rugby Championship, and Japan, who beat South Africa at the last World Cup and will host the next edition.”

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