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New Global Women’s Competition launched by World Rugby

16 women’s teams were announced on Tuesday as part of a plan to unify rugby calendars across the two hemispheres and foster competition among 15-a-side teams. WXV is scheduled to start in 2023 and consists of three tiers. It will take place from September to October every year except during Rugby World Cups. After a recent virus outbreak hit English-speaking countries like the UK, Canada, and Argentina, the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup was postponed for over two years. During the first two years of the competition, World Rugby will invest 10 million pounds ($14.75 million). The WXV 1 competition will feature six teams: the three top teams from Europe’s Six Nations tournament, and the three top teams from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States. Three matches will be played by each team in a standalone tournament in one location that is determined yearly. In the second tier, the two next-best teams from the Six Nations competition, the fourth-place team in the Oceania-Americas competition, and one team from Oceania, Asia and Africa will compete. In the third tier, there will be two European teams, one Asian team, and the winner of an African vs. South American playoff. A relegation and promotion system will be in place, with the first cycle of Women’s XVs Champions League being an exception.

Australia's Hosting Bid For South Africa Tour Rejected by Lions

Britain and Ireland have declined Australia’s offer to host a Rugby Union series against South Africa. There was insufficient certainty over the finances associated with Rugby Australia staging the eight-game tour, which culminates in a three-Test series against the Springboks. When Rugby Australia made the offer in January, the Lions’ tour to South Africa was seriously delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic raging in the country. RA reportedly agreed to share profits with the Lions and South Africa, while they covered costs. Being able to play in Australia was a major selling point due to the large crowds. Currently, four options are under consideration, but each has substantial disadvantages. A small crowd or behind closed doors tour in South Africa is still possible, while the possibility of a financially risky tour in Britain and Ireland is also being explored. Cancellation would be the least likely course of action given the implications for the home unions’ summer tours.

Ibrahimovic Returns To International Football

After almost five years away from international soccer, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is back and he announced it in his own inimitable way. Taking his tens of millions of social media followers by storm, the charismatic striker announced the news of his selection by Sweden at age 39 for the country’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers. Despite retiring from international duty after the 2016 European Championship, Ibrahimovic remains prolific. He has played for Manchester United, Los Angeles Galaxy, and AC Milan since retiring from international duty. In November, Ibrahimovic told Sweden coach Janne Andersson that he would be interested in returning to the national team at a ceremony where he was voted men’s player of the year for the 12th time in his career. The country’s top player was recalled by Andersson after more talks. Ibrahimovic will not return to international duty until the European league starts in September. It is unclear whether he will stay on until the 2022 World Cup in Qatar when he will turn 41. A year after Ibrahimovic retired from international football, his country reached the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup – its best result since 1994. There is no single star among Anderson’s team of hard workers and well-drilled players, so it will be interesting to see how Ibrahimovic fits into this system.