With soccer in Australia a summer sport, why not Rugby in England? Plenty of reasons for it. It would not unduly surprise to see this happen in the next 2-3 years (linky). Why Premiership clubs are joining with the French in move towards summer rugby By Paul Ackford, Telegraph: 11:00PM GMT 10 Dec 2011 The natives are getting restless. Again. Senior representatives of the top French and English clubs are exploring the possibility of a move to summer rugby as an alternative to losing their best players during World Cups and Six Nations tournaments. The discussions, tabled at a recent meeting following the conclusion of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, come on the back of a renewed interest in establishing a world club championship. . As of now, the big European clubs – and the talks have included Leinster, Munster, Toulouse, Toulon, Racing Metro and Cardiff – are content to push at the boundaries from within the current set up. But it cannot be long, especially given the near-anarchic state of the Rugby Football Union in terms of governance, before the major rugby institutions of Europe decide to act. . Mark McCafferty, Premier Rugby’s chief executive, confirmed the frustrations felt by many of England’s bigger clubs. “We do get anxious at the pace of change on a variety of fronts,” McCafferty said. “We want to see the Heineken Cup become bigger and better and sometimes we feel the pace of change is too slow. We’d like to expand it with a world club championship, but as a complementary element, not as a replacement.” McCafferty and Quentin Smith, Premier Rugby’s chairman, held a series of meetings in New Zealand during the World Cup to gather support for the initiative and to explore formats. The difficulty is in finding a suitable slot to accommodate the conflicting demands of the season in both hemispheres. “There is an appetite for such a clash,” McCafferty said. “There’s no doubt about that. It’s just a question of juggling the calendar to make it work. "We see it as a gap in rugby’s sporting portfolio if you like. You’ve got European rugby, Super rugby [in the southern hemisphere] and international rugby, but there is no matchup between the best club and provincial teams in the world.” . The summer-rugby scenario is one such example. Dismayed at having to play through the World Cup with many of their star players missing, several of the bigger French and English clubs resolved never to do so again, and are contemplating switching to a domestic season which runs through the spring and summer months, beginning in March and ending in November. The initiative has two major benefits. It roughly aligns the two hemispheres, creating a global season during which international fixtures would be contested between countries at similar states of readiness, rather than the ludicrous situation which now exists where teams, ravaged by injuries and fatigue at the end of one season take on sides who have barely broken sweat at the start of theirs. It would also create the space for competitions such as a world club championship to take place. “It opens up the possibility of the better weather, a different type of rugby and the ability to expand the crowds,” McCafferty said. “But we need everybody to participate in the debate because you’ve got the June internationals and Lions tours which occur in that period. So it’s not a solution we can implement by ourselves. "These things do take several years in their gestation, but there will come a point when an opportunity presents itself and you’ve got to be ready for that. We’ve had these discussions, but they are internal at the moment and have not got as far as the Professional Game Board yet.” McCafferty is reluctant to suggest a specific time frame for any radical changes, but there is a growing sense that the expansionist plans of restless owners and investors will not be contained for ever, and that the current arrangement whereby all clubs are treated roughly equally is under considerable strain. Domestic club rugby in July? Not in the immediate future perhaps, but don’t bet against it.