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2015 Rugby World Cup set to for delayed start

Richie McCaw's All Blacks won the 2011 Rugby World Cup

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Article Published: Tuesday 15 May 2012

The 2015 Rugby World Cup looks set to start two weeks later than originally planned in order to accommodate the southern hemisphere's Rugby Championship (formerly TriNations).

The TriNations will be expanded this year to include Argentina and will be renamed the Rugby Championship.

England's Rugby Football Union who will host the 2015 Rugby World Cup wanted the World Cup to start on the 4th of September while the southern hemisphere unions wanted the 25th of September.

An International Rugby Board (IRB) meeting this week is expected to produce a compromise start date of the 18th of September.

Members at the IRB meeting will also to discuss how the money from the Rugby World Cup is distributed.

The Southern Hemisphere Unions led by the New Zealand Rugby Union said that they could not afford to participate in 2015 if the financial model is not changed.

Rugby Unions lose money during a Rugby World Cup year as they play fewer internationals at home and during the World Cup they cannot support their sponsors as only official Rugby World Cup sponsors are permitted.

Australia and South Africa backed New Zealand but the European big guns are opposed to any potential changes.

The RFU wanted the Rugby World Cup to be complete by the time that daylight savings clicks in but the final is now likely to be played on the weekend of weekend of 31 October/1 November.

The two-week delay will not go down well with the Aviva Premiership clubs as they are not permitted to play any tournament rugby while the World Cup is on.

In 2003 one of the reasons New Zealand were stripped of their Rugby World Cup hosting rights was because tournament regulations prevent any professional domestic matches being played during the tournament.

The Premiership will be so affected by England hosting the Rugby World Cup that it could lead to the tournament being played on a home-or-away basis instead of the normal home-and-away basis.

The Premiership clubs will no doubt demand millions of pounds in compensation for the shortening of their season.

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