Planet Rugby

Wray suggests Anglo-Welsh Premiership

15th September 2013 16:44

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Saracens chairman Nigel Wray

Thinking outside of the box: Saracens chairman Nigel Wray

Saracens chairman Nigel Wray has added a new twist to the debate surrounding European rugby by proposing that Welsh clubs join the English Premiership.

With the current Heineken Cup format almost certain to be discarded in favour of a new structure led by English and French clubs, the long-term future of regional rugby in Wales has been called into question.

Amidst the uncertainty, Wray has made an interesting suggestion for a domestic competition that would not only do away with the LV Cup but would give Welsh regions access to the riches of the Aviva Premiership.

"I've thought for a long time, and this is a personal opinion, that we should have the four Welsh teams in the Aviva Premiership," Wray told the The Rugby Paper.

"That would make it a fantastic tournament. The customer is king and he wants to see big games. I can't speak for the Welsh but I'd be greatly surprised if they wouldn't jump at the chance of playing the English clubs more often."

Wray has urged the Dragons, Blues, Ospreys and Scarlets to join the English and French clubs in breaking away from the ERC and forming a new European tournament.

"My message to the Welsh teams is simple - 'Join the competition'. At the end of the day, you have to have guts," he added.

"They would be a hell of a lot better off than they are now."

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European Rugby Champions Cup Table
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2Northampton617
3Castres69
4Ospreys65
Pool 2
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3Exeter612
4Glasgow Warriors611
Pool 3
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2Saracens620
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4Zebre60
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European Rugby Champions Cup Table
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2Harlequins616
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4Treviso60
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3Edinburgh612
4Perpignan67