International rugby
Sexton backing for global season proposal
ESPN Staff
July 9, 2013
Lions fly-half Jonathan Sexton delights in scoring, Australia v British & Irish Lions, ANZ Stadium, Sydney, July 6, 2013
Jonny Sexton played a leading role in the Lions' series win in Australia © Getty Images

British & Irish Lions star Jonny Sexton has thrown his weight behind plans for an integrated global season.

The International Rugby Players' Association (IRPA) has put forward a proposal to move the current June Test programme back to the end of July.

Such a move would allow southern hemisphere-based players to finish the Super Rugby club season before joining up with their countries, while the players in Europe would see the start of their season put back.

"We see this initiative as beneficial for the global games," Sexton said. "From a player perspective, we urge our leaders to get in a room together, take a positive attitude and see what can be done."

The recent Lions tour of Australia saw a number of uncompetitive games due to club sides fielding weakened teams. And the IRPA believes the proposal to move the tour back to late July would allow clubs to field full-strength sides.

The IRPA does not envisage any changes to the existing windows for World Cups, Six Nations, the Rugby Championship and November Tests.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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