Cape Town - World Rugby has scrapped controversial plans to introduce a Nations Championship saying that resistance to the idea had brought about their decision.
Rugby's governing body announced their intention to introduce the concept in a statement in March this year, saying that the championship would comprise a 12 team league without smaller nations like Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.
But on Wednesday, they backtracked on their decision saying they "undertook this important project with the best interests of the global game at heart".
"Despite strong progress in collaboration with unions, competition owners and international rugby players, including full engagement on the detailed process of financial due diligence, a lack of consensus on key issues, particularly the timing and format of promotion and relegation, left World Rugby with no alternative but to discontinue the project," continued the statement.
World Rugby chairperson Bill Beaumont added: "World Rugby undertook this important project with the best interests of the global game at heart in line with our vision to grow the sport as a game for all. While we are naturally disappointed that a unanimous position on the Nations Championship could not be achieved among our unions, we remain fully committed to exploring alternative ways to enhance the meaning, value and opportunity of international rugby for the betterment of all unions.
"This includes our continued commitment to competition and investment opportunities for emerging nations to increase the competitiveness of the international game with a view to possible Rugby World Cup expansion in 2027."
Beaumont thanked all stakeholders for their feedback regarding the proposed tournament.
'I would like to thank all stakeholders for their detailed consideration and engagement, World Rugby’s executive team for their hard work and Infront Sports and Media for their full and ongoing support of our vision to grow rugby’s global footprint."
Read the full statement from World Rugby here.