World Rugby have announced that World Cup squad sizes will be increased from 31 to 33 for France 2023, as part of new player-welfare initiatives.

As well as that, all teams will have at least five days preparation for all matches for the first time, as the pool phase is extended by one week.

The Irish Independent reports that the latest developments come as the game's major stakeholders, including International Rugby Players, look to ensure that no team will have a rest period of less than five days, in order to optimise recovery and preparation time.

World Rugby have also committed to delivering a more balanced schedule in terms of overall rest periods, particularly for emerging nations.

The fixtures for the 2023 World Cup will be announced at the end of the month.

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