Planet Rugby

Unions hold European talks

22nd January 2014 05:39

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European rugby: Still split

The Six Nations Council said Tuesday it had held "constructive talks" regarding the future of European club rugby but appeared to rule out support for the breakaway Rugby Champions Cup.

Tuesday's meeting featured representatives from the English, Welsh, Irish, Scottish, French and Italian unions who, rather than the clubs, are the dominant voices in the current European Rugby Cup structure which runs both the existing European Cup and the second-tier European Challenge Cup.

English and French clubs, unhappy with their share of commercial revenue and having to endure a gruelling qualification process when teams elsewhere in Europe are guaranteed places, served notice in August 2012 they would withdraw from ERC tournaments at the end of the 2013/14 season.

But their alternative plan for a new Rugby Champions Cup appeared doomed when French clubs, under pressure from the French Rugby Federation (FFR), pulled out last month.

Five of Europe's six leading unions, excluding England's Rugby Football Union, then revealed plans for a five-nation 20-team tournament next season, with the FFR pledging to enter six sides.

However, the French clubs have insisted they will not take part in a European tournament where there is no English participation while the four Welsh regions, who are involved in a domestic dispute with the Welsh Rugby Union, have voiced their desire to play in the RCC.

English clubs have said they are happy for the RCC to come under the jurisdiction of the Six Nations.

However, International Rugby Board rules state any tournament must have their backing and that of the relevant national unions, something likely to be withheld from the RCC.

And a statement following Tuesday's meeting endorsed that position.

"The Six Nations Council had a constructive meeting today and remains committed to finding a Six Nations solution for European rugby in the best interests of the game.

"The Council also reaffirmed its commitment to abide by IRB regulations."

On advancement was a change in stance by the FFR, who now seem willing to participate in a European Cup run by the Six Nations. The FFR had wanted the competition to be run by Fira - the organisation made up of the smaller unions in Europe - but after a meeting with the RFU last week, has gone back to where it was in October.

  • Champions Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale13:00
Castres vs Leinster15:15
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
  • Champions Cup Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Saturday , October 18
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
  • Champions Cup Table
Pool 1
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens15
2Munster14
3Sale Sharks11
4Clermont Auvergne11
Pool 2
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Leinster14
2Harlequins14
3Wasps11
4Castres10
Pool 3
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulon14
2Leicester Tigers14
3Ulster11
4Scarlets10
Pool 4
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Glasgow Warriors15
2Toulouse14
3Montpellier11
4Bath10
Pool 5
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Ospreys15
2Racing Metro Paris14
3Northampton10
4Treviso10