Sam Whitelock: 'Munster v the Crusaders sounds pretty cool'

The All Black centurion has backed proposals for a world club tournament.
Sam Whitelock: 'Munster v the Crusaders sounds pretty cool'
Sam Whitelock. Photo: INPHO/Billy Stickland

Sam Whitelock has suggested proposals for a worldwide Nations Championship involving international sides could be expanded to cross-border club encounters.

The All Black centurion, a two-time World Cup-winner and three-in-a-row Super Rugby champion, cited the possibility of a game between his Crusaders side and Munster to back-up the idea's merits.

Bill Beaumont, following his re-election as World Rugby chairman, revived the proposals for a cross-hemisphere test tournament to be held annually by merging the summer and autumn international tour windows. The concept would feature countries from the Six Nations and Rugby Championship, plus Fiji and Japan, possibly with promotion and relegation for lower-ranked nations.

Whitelock, who missed out on the New Zealand captaincy to Sam Cane this week, favours Beaumont's plans.

"In general, aligning the world's competitions to open up these possibilities is a good thing," Whitelock told Newshub.

"You can imagine having the best northern v southern hemisphere clubs and international sides meeting every couple of years would be pretty cool.

"There is an appetite to see that - Munster v the Crusaders sounds pretty cool. There are options on the table, and we just need to work through those and debate them."

European rugby bosses held talks last month about the potential introduction of a Club World Cup.

But the European Professional Club Rugby body stressed its plans would complement existing tournaments with its proposal that a world competition is held every four years.

That statement came in response to Bernard Laporte, since elected as Beaumont's vice-chairman, mooting an idea for an annual 20-team world club tournament which would replace the Champions Cup.

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