IRB wade into European dispute

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The International Rugby Board have had their say on the ongoing Heineken Cup saga, declaring their support for a European competition encompassing all nations.

The English and French are threatening a breakaway tournament if their demands are not met, which other nations could join, but CEO of the IRB Brett Gosper has said all European countries must be part of it.

“Our clear position is we support a full European competition and our desire is it’s a bona fide European competition,” Gosper told RTE Rugby.

“We are urging all parties to get together and find a resolution because we obviously believe it is in the interests of rugby to have a strong European competition. It’s good for the clubs and good for the unions.

“Hopefully they are in a negotiation, some say they are, some say they aren’t, but certainly we believe in a European competition and will support that outcome as much as we can.”

Yesterday’s developments saw the ERC announce the next meeting would take place on October 23rd – over a month away – confusingly contradicting their claims that this is something that must be dealt with as soon as possible.

Today’s meeting of the 12 Premiership clubs will have been dominated by Europe, and they will undoubtedly have discussed why the ERC have delayed the meeting. It is further proof of a frustrating lack of progress in negotiations to save many rugby fans’ favourite tournament.

In the middle of all this are the RFU, who obviously have close relationships with both Premier Rugby and the ERC. How they must be hoping a suitable conclusion is reached and they don’t have to pick a side.


Video courtesy of @RugbyMedia

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

3 thoughts on “IRB wade into European dispute

  1. Not sure about wading in, they aren’t backing a side or saying who should run a competition, just that they want all countries to be involved in one.

  2. I have read some previous correspondence with respect to the above and I would hope that the HC continues its its present foremat.Yes there are some teams who may be out of their depth, with Italian teams bearing the brunt, however these teams need to play at the highest level in order to improve the level of rugby in there respective countries. I could name a number of teams from England, France, Scotland and Wales who have no chance of making the knockout stages. Just like in the Champions Soccer League there are teams who have no chance.How many teams in the RWC have a genuine chance!. Give the underdogs an opportunity to compete at the highest level. And, just to finish,I presume that if the English and French got their way then the likes of Munster, Leinster and Ulster would be out! Am i missing something . Leinster have won the HC three times in last 5 years, Munster twice in last ten years with Ulster also winning albeit in 1999. Get a life!

  3. Think the big problem here is the fact the PRL is a separate entity from the RFU and as such is looking at how much profit it can make. After all sport is now a business…

    As soon as the PRL signed their broadcast deal with BT Sport European rugby was heading to where we are now. With no over arching pan European entity, dare I say it, such as UEFA then the squabbling and cross purpose dealing making that the various alphabet soup of organisation have and continue to do was always going to end in a mess.

    The RFU, FFR, WRU, IRFU, SRU, PRL, ERC and 6 Nations are all in it for themselves with the fans simply forgotten about.

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