The South African Rugby Union (SARU) has welcomed a compromise agreement on the kick off date for the 2015 Rugby World Cup tournament as well on a new funding model to recognise impacts on unions in Rugby World Cup years.
The IRB Council on Tuesday reached agreement that the 2015 tournament will kick off on September 18, which represented a compromise between the organiser’s preferred date and that of the SANZAR nations, who will be engaged in the Castle Rugby Championship until shortly before Rugby World Cup kick off.
The meeting also approved a £50m investment into the global game from 2012 to 2015 to address the challenges faced by national unions who lose income in Rugby World Cup years.
SARU and other Tier 1 nations will each receive £7m (R93m) as part of the new financial model to promote stability for national unions.
In addition, a sub-committee has been formed to investigate the current Rugby World Cup financial model and make proposals on rights management. One of the key concerns is to ensure appropriate exposure for national union sponsors and financial partners. Jurie Roux, SARU CEO, is a member of the four-person committee which also features Sophie Goldsmith, the commercial director of England’s RFU, and the CEOs of Wales, Roger Lewis, and New Zealand, Steve Tew.
“We are pleased with the outcomes of this week’s discussions as they have addressed and resolved a number of concerns of the Tier 1 nations in the southern and northern hemisphere,” said Roux.
“A Rugby World Cup year is a financial challenge to all competing unions and the new financing model goes some way to answering those concerns. Typically unions receive reduced rights fees from sponsors (because of more limited exposure), there are fewer home test matches, while expenses increase as a part of Rugby World Cup preparations.”
Roux said that, in addition, the four Castle Rugby Championship nations would share a £10m allocation for any financial impacts on the tournament in 2015.