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Spain to host Four Nations tournament?

Spanish newspaper Las Provincias has revealed that the Spanish Rugby Union (FER) and World Rugby are working on an Asian/European “Four Nations” tournament, to be played in Valencia in November.

According to the paper, Spain are hoping to host a four nations tournament in November that will feature themselves, Italy, Japan and Hong Kong.

The opportunity comes through to a gap in the schedule after Spain men’s team was excluded from the men’s World Cup. This left planned dates - halfway through November – in a city ambitious to improve its status in Spanish rugby.

Spain, Hong Kong, Japan and Italy will play in a two-day format, with semi-finals on a Tuesday and third-place game and final the following weekend. The intention is that the games will take place at Ciutat de València – a football stadium – with final confirmation and dates for the tournament dependent on the football fixture list. It is also understood that World Rugby will meet much of the costs. Tickets for the semi-finals will be distributed among the schools to help boost the development of the game in the region.

Hong Kong have visited Spain twice in recent years, and plan is that they will face Spain in the first match, while Japan and Italy will play in the second game. The final would then take place on Saturday.

Promotors of the event see it as an opportunity to put Valencia on the world map of rugby and the international success of the nation’s women’s team means that the city’s ambition to have an elite rugby team is not limited to it having a men’s side. The intention now is to see Valencia represented not only in the the Heineken League, but also in the Iberdrola League, Spain’s top women's league.