Relegation for the Six Nations?

Over recent times there have been calls from those in rugby to bring relegation into the Six Nations, or at least swap Italy out for Georgia. 

Italy joined the Six Nations to make an equal number of teams, after a search from World Rugby. They underwent multiple games against tier 1 nations to get this place and then were cemented into the competition. Furthermore, Zebre and Treviso have been cemented into the Pro 12, wrongly or rightly.

Italy has had a terrible few years, and have actually received the wooden spoon 11 times since they joined the competition in 2000. Calls having been coming from all over to remove them from the competition.

Although this may seem like a good idea, a straight swap for Georgia, Italian teams in the Pro 12 and the growing off rugby will also suffer. 

To set up relegation World Rugby needs some innovative thinking. Moving away from focusing just on the small number of nations that are at the top of rugby, and setting up new competitions bellow this. If such a system was in place relegation and promotion would be possible without destroying rugby in one nation. 

Italy will no doubt improve under O’Shea, but it is not a quick fix situation. O’Shea understands this and has said multiple times that he is trying to build Italian rugby for the future. 

A knee jerk reaction of relegation Italy this year after one season with their new taskmaster would be the wrong decision and ruin the growth of rugby in Italy. 

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