World Rugby is prepared to be flexible on its proposed plans to restructure the international game after leading French and English professional clubs hinted at possible legal action.
Under controversial plans for the new Nations Championship – which involves 12 teams based largely around combining the Six Nations and Rugby Championship – finalists would have to play five weekends in a row.
This has been strongly opposed on welfare grounds by the international players’ union. But, according to the BBC, World Rugby will consider taking away the semi-final stage at Thursday’s emergency meeting in Dublin as a compromise.
It comes after Premiership Rugby (PRL) and its French counterpart, the Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR), released a joint statement detailing their dissatisfaction about being excluded from the talks, and how the new proposals contravene the binding San Francisco agreement of 2017.
The statement said: “LNR and PRL regret the fact that World Rugby is not fully involving all stakeholders in seeking a consensus and they can only reserve the option to take any action to preserve their rights and competitions.”
A World Rugby spokesman told The Guardian: “Change is always difficult and nobody expected complex multi-stakeholder discussions to be simple. For a sport to grow and thrive, however, it must explore ways to innovate and evolve.”