The next World Cup will be expanded to 24 teams as part of a new global calendar approved by World Rugby’s council.

The change that will come into effect for Australia 2027 is intended to provide more qualification opportunities for emerging nations as well as regional competitions.

Further details of the revised format for the group stage will be announced at a World Rugby press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

A new bi-annual international competition is also to be launched in 2026, comprising of two divisions of 12 teams with promotion and relegation commencing from 2030.

The matches will take place in the July and November international windows.