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Keep 6 Nations in Europe - Beaumont

Bill Beaumount believes rugby chiefs must not mess with the RBS 6 Nations' "successful formula" by considering staging matches outside Europe.

The Six Nations chairman revealed the competition's committee has never discussed the proposition of staging tournament clashes in the United States.

World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper said last year the game's governing body would back any move to stage Six Nations matches beyond traditional heartlands.

Beaumont claimed Six Nations bosses have no current plans to capitalise on rugby's growing popularity stateside, evidenced by the All Blacks selling out Chicago's Soldier Field to face the USA in the autumn.

"If you've got a successful formula, don't change it," Beaumont told Press Association Sport.

"My personal view is that home fixtures obviously drive interest in that country, and it would be a very, very brave man to say 'I'm going to give up a home game and take it to Chicago'.

"That's never ever been discussed by us at the Six Nations.

"And I think I'd be a very old man if we were discussing that.

"Perhaps that would work for one-off games if European teams want to go and do that, but not for the Six Nations."

Beaumont said home and away fixtures remain integral to the Six Nations' DNA that builds intense but respectful rivalries.

"The tribalism and the craic that you have, the fun between the rivalries, that's unique in rugby," said former England captain Beaumont.

"You can be the most passionate England supporter, you can be sat next to the most fervent Welsh supporter, and you can have great banter during the game, shake hands at the end of the game and maybe go for a pint together.

"That's the essence of the game, that's the essence of this competition.

"This tournament has obviously moved from four through to six sides, but remains probably the envy of most other rugby playing nations.

"The unpredictability of results within that championship means everyone will have their favourites of who they think will win, but you don't actually know.

"And that is the great thing about it: the rivalry and the tribalism that comes with it.

"And also the fun for the spectators, it's very much part of the European rugby DNA, going to a game and supporting your team."


From Belfast Telegraph