Bigger squads, more rest at 2023 Rugby World Cup

Mon, 22/02/2021, 09:00 pm
AFP
by AFP
Teams heading to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France will be allowed bigger squads and will benefit from greater gaps between matches | Photo: Getty Images

Teams heading to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France will be allowed bigger squads and will benefit from greater gaps between matches, the organisers announced on Monday.   

In order to improve player welfare, squads will be expanded from the 31 used in 2019 to 33 while all teams will have a guaranteed five-day break between pool matches which means that tournament will run one week longer than in Japan.   

The 2023 edition will kick off on September 8 and conclude with the final on October 28.

Register for Stan Sport now to watch every minute of Australian Rugby. The new add-on Sport package is available for just $10 a month with customers able to get a 30-day free trial for a limited time only.

The announcement came after the Rugby World Cup Board, the World Rugby executive committee, the France 2023 organising committee and international players' representatives agreed a "ground-breaking" package of player welfare principles.

"For the first time in modern Rugby World Cup history, no team will have arest period of less than five days, optimising recovery and preparation...particularly for emerging nations," said a press release.   

In the past, emerging nations, who have less depth in their squads, havehad shorter breaks between pool matches.   

"The game has become too physical and competitive for short turnarounds,"said former Ireland and British and Irish Lions captain Brian O'Driscoll, theWorld Cup's International Rugby Players' representative. 

"All teams have found it tough, particularly those without the squad depthof the major nations.   

"This is a positive step forward for the game and further demonstration of how International Rugby Players and World Rugby can work together towards better outcomes."   

LES BLEUS IN LOCKDOWN: COVID interrupts France Six Nations Campaign

LIFE WITHOUT GORDON: Tahs press on without captain

TOTAL ZEN: O'Connor's new focus

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont, a former England captain before the World Cup era began in 1987, applauded the moves.

"This is a landmark day for Rugby World Cup and the sport," he said in thepress release.   

"As a rugby father, former player, fan and administrator, player welfare isat the very top of my agenda.   

"This continued focus for a player-first decision reflects that commitment.   

"This decision means that every player and every team will have a fairer chance to perform to their potential in every fixture."

Share
The Brumbies celebrate victory during their round Nine Match with the Rebels. Photo: Getty Images
Rebels v Brumbies: Five things we learnt
The Brumbies celebrate a try during their round Nine Match with the Rebels. Photo: Getty Images
Brumbies hold on for narrow victory over Rebels
The Western Force celebrate victory over the NSW Waratahs. Photo: Getty Images
Waratahs v Force: 5 Things We Learnt
Feleti Kaitu'u was one of the Western Force best. Photo: Getty Images
Domingo Miotti breaks Waratahs' hearts as Force claim victory after the siren
Rugby.com.au Logo

The Rugby.com.au are a proud part of Rugby AU

© 2021 Australian Rugby. All rights reserved.