Rugby union chiefs are to meet with their RFL counterparts to thrash out a deal that could unite the two codes in this country.
With growing disillusion over scrums and penalties in the 15-man code, a raft of rule changes have been considered, with all signs pointing to changes that would bring union virtually in line with rugby league.
The list includes reducing the number of men in each team, lowering the value of a penalty kick, scrapping the current scrum set-up and introducing a limit to the number of phases in play.
And with the RFU continuing to look at rugby league players, including recent capture Kyle Eastmond, to fill voids in their national team, the codes could be set for a sensational merger and put up genuine competition to football’s stronghold in the UK.
Spokesman Sol Ropilfa: “It is no secret that rugby union has been envious of the excitement generated on the field by its 13-man counterpart.
“But on the other hand, union has all the ammunition and clout it needs to be the worldwide form of the sport. The international game, the sponsors, the reputation and the money.
“Rather than simply battling on in competition with one another, we believe any deal that could see the two codes to unite would give rugby a major chance of overthrowing football in this country.”
Countries around the world will be interestingly watching the developments, with several overseas players already expressing a desire to move to these shores to play in any combined competition.