England backs proposal to shorten Six Nations to six weeks

Rugby Union - England - Eddie Jones Press Conference - Twickenham Stadium - 20/11/15 RFU Chief Executive Officer Ian Ritchie during the press conference Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne Livepic

(Reuters) - England's Rugby Football Union will back a proposal to reduce the length of the Six Nations to six weeks from the current seven to improve the tournament, the governing body's chief executive Ian Ritchie has said.

Clubs in the English Premiership are also backing the proposal, which was rejected at the last World Rugby talks in San Francisco due to concerns over the strain that a shortened tournament may place on players.

"I think it is absolutely right to always be thinking about what to do to enhance, improve and make it (the Six Nations) better," Ritchie was quoted as saying by the Times.

"We believe it is perfectly right to have a six-week competition as opposed to a seven-week one. We think it would improve it. It would narrow the off periods, help with the broader narrative. We think it is a good route."

The proposal to stage the tournament over a six-week period from 2020 will come up for approval at a meeting of the Six Nations board next month.

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

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