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World Rugby delays global league deadline as Six Nations reach impasse

Cracks are beginning to appear between the Six Nations unions as they continue to debate the relative merits of private equity investment and joining World Rugby’s global league.

An offer from CVC Capital Partners, of around £500m (€583m/$662m)for a 27-per-cent stake in the Six Nations, remains on the table and is being seriously considered. Three other private equity investment companies are also said to have shown an interest in the Six Nations.

The insistence of England and France that they should receive a higher cut than the other four nations, because of the greater payments that would be due to the powerful clubs that play in the Premiership and the Top 14 respectively, has caused consternation.

The alternative would be to fold the Six Nations, and some of the unions’ other fixtures such as the Autumn internationals, into World Rugby’s Nations Championship concept. The global governing body had previously set a deadline of the end of this week for unions to sign a due diligence agreement, which would allow the mutual inspection of books, a major first step towards initiating the global league.

In light of the ongoing discussions between the Six Nations union and the revisions announced to the plan last week, however, World Rugby has moved that deadline until April 5.

Ireland, Italy and Scotland – previously known to be opponents of the Nations League – are reported by the Guardian to now be reconsidering, due to the demands being made by England and France and the fact that World Rugby’s proposals would offer an equal revenue share.