Saints boss Boyd gives his take on proposed World 12s tournament

Saints boss Chris Boyd has given his take on the proposed new 12-a-side rugby competition.

By Tom Vickers
Thursday, 9th September 2021, 12:22 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th September 2021, 12:24 pm
Chris Boyd
Chris Boyd

The new tournament, World 12s, would take place in England next August if given the go-ahead and it is intended to feature 192 of the world's best players, picked via auction to represent eight franchises.

World 12s Limited says the competition will take place over three weekends in a round-robin format before knockouts.

Boyd was asked what he thought of the idea as it was put to him that it could see the likes of Dan Biggar and Courtney Lawes have to skip pre-season next year to play in the competition.

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Boyd said: “I don’t think those guys get a pre-season, do they? We never see them.

"I’m not sure what they do. I’m sure there is a massive amount of water to go under the bridge (regarding World 12s).

“It’s always an interesting conundrum, players are represented by the players’ association who are always talking about the need for player rest and player welfare and controlling minutes and then all of a sudden something comes in that has got a nice little juicy financial carrot in it and suddenly some of those things might not be quite as important as they were before.

“Anything that can promote the game is fantastic. Look what the IPL has done to cricket.

"I remember a conversation when I was in South Africa between John Smit and Jacques Kallis where Jacques was saying to John the cricket had been the poor cousins to the rugby players from a financial perspective and then the IPL came in and all of a sudden it was not a bad gig being a cricketer if you could get a good IPL contract.

"How they fit it (World 12s) into a congested global season is going to be really interesting.

“If the players’ associations are genuinely concerned around the welfare of the players around game time etc… if you look at the New Zealand model of people taking sabbaticals, they are supposed to be for regeneration yet they are players who, good on them too, often go and earn some reasonable cash, usually in Japan. But that flies in the face of the argument that they have had.

"You wouldn’t want to deny the opportunity for the game to grow, you wouldn’t want to deny an opportunity for the players to earn some more money and you wouldn’t want to deny the clubs to be part of that.

"How that all works in a congested environment, I am not 100 per cent sure.”