MIAMI (Reuters) - Six nations from North and South America plan to launch a Pan-American annual championship based on the successful European model, USA Rugby announced on Friday.
Representatives of rugby unions from Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Canada and the United States met in Miami this week to discuss the plan.
Former England captain Nigell Melville, now CEO of USA Rugby, said: “This is an exciting time for rugby in the Americas and the establishment of a sustainable annual international rugby championship for the unions in the Americas will be an important step forward for the development of the game in the region”.
No name has yet been given to the championship which would be run under the guidance of the Pan American Rugby Association (PARA).
The competition, which it is hoped will be begin in 2016, would guarantee each nation five matches annually.
“There is a lot of work to be done but the future looks bright,” said Agustin Pichot, former Argentina captain and current president of the PARA.
“As a group of unions we believe that an American championship would contribute significantly to the development of the game,” he added.
Executives are working on an initial five-year plan for fixtures.
Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ken Ferris