England team news for Ireland game as World Rugby plot five huge changes

World Rugby have broken their silence on their new initiatives to improve the game in 2024.

World Rugby’s executive board and council will now look over the governing body’s recommendations and discuss whether to give the plans their seal of approval.

Their statement read: “World Rugby’s Shape of the Game forum in London has agreed on recommendations to reimagine the spectacle and grow rugby’s share of attention within an increasingly competitive global sports and entertainment market.

“With the game embarking on a new era of certainty with the introduction of new men’s and women’s global calendars from 2026, including new competitions such as the Nations Championship, and expanded Rugby World Cups, leading figures across the sport are united in driving forwards the entertainment value of the game through fan experience, laws and regulations reform.

“While previous editions of the Shape of the Game forum delivered issue-specific short-term advancements, the 2024 edition is an important milestone in a new law review cycle and had a specific focus on a central mission of driving fan acquisition and retention by increasing relevance and accessibility.

“Playing, coaching, officiating, competitions and fan experts representing five specialist committees (men’s and women’s high performance, professional game, professional leagues and community rugby) were challenged to think big, think long-term and think collectively. Importantly, the groups were urged to view the game through a fan-focused lens.

“Framing the discussions was a detailed review of the latest men’s, women’s and community playing, officiating and welfare trends as well as feedback from technology and audience experts and fans.

“In particular, delegates focused on addressing barriers to fan engagement – dead-ball time, the elements that interrupt the flow of the game, technology, the terminology and marketing of the sport as a whole.

“The group agreed on the following key action areas for World Rugby to explore in collaboration with key stakeholders before a detailed plan is presented to the federation’s executive board for consideration.”