Six Nations’ £365m five-year CVC commercial deal stops the private equity firm from selling their stake to World Rugby… with flagship tournament determined to retain control of the sport in Europe

  • The stipulation in the deal shows the split in rugby’s leadership and governance
  • World Rugby have made attempts to unite the sport around a global calendar
  • They were pushing a new 12-team Nations Championship two years ago
  • The Six Nations are determined to retain control of rugby in Europe 


The Six Nations deal with commercial partners CVC contains a clause preventing the private equity firm selling on their stake to World Rugby, Sportsmail can reveal.

The stipulation in the contract, which will see CVC pay £365million over five years for 14 per cent of the competition’s commercial rights, shows the split in the sport’s leadership and governance, and the Six Nations’ determination to retain control of rugby in Europe.

World Rugby have made attempts to unite the sport around a global calendar, with little success. 

The Six Nations deal with commercial partners CVC contains a clause preventing the private equity firm selling on their stake to World Rugby

The Six Nations deal with commercial partners CVC contains a clause preventing the private equity firm selling on their stake to World Rugby

They were pushing a new 12-team Nations Championship two years ago, which collapsed after the Six Nations baulked at the idea of promotion and relegation into their own competition despite the dismal efforts of Italy, who have not won in seven years.

World Rugby want to revive the concept after next year’s World Cup, but the Six Nations-CVC deal shows hostility lingers from negotiations two years ago.

World Rugby’s motivation for a new competition is greater commercial and television rights and a reduction in the gap between tier one and tier two nations, so promotion and relegation is a must.

The Six Nations contract states that the six main European unions retain ‘sole responsibility for all sporting matters’.

World Rugby (pictured chairman Sir Bill Beaumont) have made attempts to unite the sport around a global calendar

World Rugby (pictured chairman Sir Bill Beaumont) have made attempts to unite the sport around a global calendar

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