Rugby-Six Nations will decide World 12s fate - Hansen

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup - Bronze Final - New Zealand v Wales - Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo, Japan - November 1, 2019 New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen celebrates after receiving a bronze medal. REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

(Reuters) - Former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen believes the proposed World 12s tournament would revolutionise the sport and that the Six Nations rather than global governing body World Rugby will determine whether or not it happens.

The new 12-a-side rugby union tournament -- similar to the IPL in cricket with players from across the globe playing for eight franchises -- was launched last week with the goal of bringing $344 million into the sport over the next five years.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont raised concerns about an already congested calendar.

"World Rugby doesn't influence anything, the Six Nations influences everything. If it doesn't suit the Six Nations, it doesn't happen," Hansen was quoted as saying by The Australian

"Have a look at the governance of World Rugby, where do they all come from? So what we've got to do is make it so obvious that this is what we should be doing, remove all the bias.

"There's no bias in the 12s, you've just got a group of people who are connected on the same page of how we want to play the game and how we see rugby and what changes it needs."

Hansen said the World 12s would "enhance" the 15s game just as test cricket improved following the introduction of the shorter Twenty20 format of the sport.

"Let's try it. If it becomes obvious this is the way it should be played, we're going to force the hand of World Rugby to have conversations," Hansen added.

"People have got to start making decisions based on what's right for rugby, not what's right for them, individually or for their country.

"And it's been happening for a long time, there's definitely a bias between north-south, and we have to change that... we're not making decisions that are right for the game."

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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