The French Federation de Rugby (FFR) and Ligue National de Rugby (LNR) are bringing forward seven huge changes that would drastically change the landscape of rugby in Europe.
The vast majority of the 7 point plan looks at changes in the Top 14, but it also includes a proposal that will drastically affect the Six Nations.
According to French publication L’Equipe, the bodies want to change the Six Nations from a five-game tournament spread out over seven weeks – to a five-game tournament spread out over five weeks, with no breaks.
Here’s the full proposal from L’Equipe, including a proposed increase in the French salary cap.
1. From 2018-19 – the Top 14 would be reduced to the Top 12. This would have the added measure that only one team is relegated a year, instead of the current two. This would reduce the season by four full gameweeks.
2. The playoffs in the Top 14 would also be reduced. Instead of six teams qualifying, it would go directly into the semi-finals as per the PRO12.
3. A system similar to the EPS squad where a squad of 30 protected French players would be named who would play less games similar to the IRFU welfare programme. A squad of 20 development players would also be included.
4. Matchday squads would increase to 25 players with ten replacements which can all be used in a game. The added replacements would have to be young French players.
5. All clubs must have synthetic pitches.
6. Because of the protected French players – clubs would be compensated with an increase in the salary cap for an extra elite player.
7. Reduce the length of the Six Nations from seven to five weeks.