Planet Rugby

Top 14 clubs to stay in Heineken Cup

28th November 2013 15:51

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jacky lorenzetti racing metro

Furious: Jacky Lorenzetti

The future of the Rugby Champions Cup appears to be in serious doubt after the Ligue Nationale de Rugby sided with the FFR on Thursday.

France's Top 14 clubs (represented by the LNR) will now take part in the newly-formatted Heineken Cup next season, rather than in the breakaway RCC competition announced by Premiership Rugby representing the English clubs earlier this year, according to reports.

The decision was made following a vote by the representatives of the 14 clubs with the FFR at a meeting outside Paris, with Racing Métro owner Jacky Lorenzetti reportedly storming out following the outcome according to RugbyRama.

Despite the French clubs reported interest in bringing the English clubs back into the ERC with them, such are the terms of the Premiership clubs' contract with BT Sport that they will be unable to return to the Heineken Cup.

This is due to the competition being broadcast by Sky Sports, throwing doubt over future English participation in European rugby next season.

This latest development will see teams from France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales competing in 2014/2015 in the newly-formatted Heineken Cup announced this month.

Further reports in France state the Top 14 clubs have until February to persuade the English clubs to return to the ERC.

If they fail then the English clubs will be excluded from Europe. as they were in 1999 when they boycotted the competition.

More to follow...

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Montpellier vs Bath19:45
Saturday , December 6
Sale vs Saracens13:00
Munster vs Clermont Auvergne17:30
Ulster vs Scarlets19:45
Benetton Treviso vs Northampton13:00
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Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale Sharks
Castres 16 - 21 Leinster
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Saturday , October 25
Bath 19 - 21 Toulouse
Montpellier 13 - 15 Glasgow
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Munster 14 - 3 Saracens
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1Munster28
2Clermont Auvergne26
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1Harlequins28
2Leinster28
3Wasps22
4Castres21
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1Toulon28
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1Glasgow Warriors29
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3Montpellier22
4Bath21
Pool 5
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1Racing Metro Paris28
2Northampton25
3Ospreys25
4Treviso20