Unofficial Rugby World Cup proposed for 2021

An unofficial Rugby World Cup which could raise $500 million is being proposed to help ease the financial burden of COVID-19 according to a report in the UK Telegraph.

The Telegraph says the proposed tournament would be a 16 team competition and be held in June and July next year.

The plan has been submitted World Rugby with a working title of the 'Coronavirus Cup of World Rugby'.

The plan has been drawn up by Francis Baron, the former head of the England RFU.

The Telegraph reports it would involve 31 matches over six weeks and would mean the postponement of the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa.

Baron said all of the profits would be distributed to the unions to support professional and community games.

"The key will be winning the support of the southern hemisphere unions but, with everyone facing horrendous financial challenges, this is a bold and ambitious plan to raise large amounts of new cash from which they will be major beneficiaries," Baron told the Telegraph.

"The 2015 World Cup generated net profits for the game of around £400 million. I believe this could -generate a net profit for distribution to unions of £200 to £250 million.