ERC to evaluate tournament options
Rugby:The ERC is to undertake a "comprehensive evaluation of the proposals for change to European club rugby tournaments for the 2014/15 season and beyond," following a meeting of the relevant stakeholders in Dublin this afternoon.
The proposals for structural reform of European club competitions include a move to a 20-club or a 32-club Heineken Cup and the restructuring of the Amlin Challenge Cup, currently a 20-team tournament.
"This evaluation will examine the rationale for the proposed changes to both tournaments, as well as the impact on all stakeholders of any change to the format and structure of the competitions," a statement read this evening.
"The evaluation will be completed during the six-week period before the fourth meeting of ERC stakeholders which will be held in London on Wednesday, December 12th."
The current formats of both competitions, which will remain in place until the end of the 2013/14 season, were agreed by all stakeholders in 2007 and include a two-year consultation period (from June this year), to allow for negotiations towards the formulation of new models.
The Anglo-French axis of Premiership Rugby (PRL) and Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR) want a reduction in hte Heineken Cup from 24 to 20 teams, comprising the top six from each of the three qualifying leagues, along with the defending champions and the Amlin Cup winners, whereas the Celts and Italians would accede to some compromise from the current format, though not on that scale, and preferably while retaining a 24-team tournament.ERC stakeholder meeting attendance
Jean-Pierre Lux (ERC Chairman)
Derek McGrath (ERC Chief Executive)
Rob Andrew (RFU)
Mark McCafferty (Premiership Rugby)
Bruce Craig (Premiership Rugby)
Michel Palmié (FFR)
Olivier Keraudren (FFR)
Patrick Wolff (LNR)
René Bouscatel (LNR)
Philip Browne (IRFU)
Peter Boyle (IRFU)
Fabrizio Gaetaniello (FIR)
Mark Dodson (SR)
Ian McLauchlan (SR)
Roger Lewis (WRU)
Steve Phillips (WRU)