IMG moots IPL style league for rugby


MUMBAI:  Sports marketing agency IMG has floated a proposal to establish European Sevens franchises based on the Indian Premier League Twenty20 model. The plan, currently under review by governing body World Rugby, envisages franchises in six major European cities, including two within the United Kingdom and one in Ireland, for a tournament that would take place in August.

According to a Gulf News report, players, including Team GB Olympic Silver medal winners as well as select XVs stars, would be put forward in a draft that would mirror the IPL auction system. 

World Rugby, which has confirmed it is looking to shake up the sevens calendar, which largely revolves around the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, could green light the plan at the next meeting of their executive committee. 

IMG, that was heavily involved in establishing the money spinning IPL in India, was recently appointed by World Rugby to manage its global licensing and merchandising rights for tournaments such as the men’s and women’s World Cups until the end of 2023.

IMG will get a further opportunity to present its vision to World Rugby at the next meeting of the executive committee, says the report.

A World Rugby spokesman has been quoted as saying, “World Rugby is committed to ensuring the growth and success of the sport in all its forms and continually explores opportunities that have the potential to further the growth, competitiveness, profile and commercial standing of rugby sevens for the betterment of the game.”