Irish provinces won’t be joining new rugby cup

Irish, Welsh and Scottish rugby unions clarify their position in remaining committed to a pan European tournament

IRFU’s Chief Executive Philip Browne. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

IRFU’s Chief Executive Philip Browne. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Thu, Sep 26, 2013, 15:03

The IRFU has today reiterated their position that Leinster, Munster, Ulster and Connacht will not take part in any tournament cobbled together by the French and England clubs.

The statement read: "The Irish Rugby Football Union clarify that its clubs (provinces) will not be participating in future tournaments which do not have the full approval of the International Rugby Board (IRB) or the relevant national rugby unions.

“The IRFU and its clubs remain fully committed to the development of a pan European rugby competition and we welcome the recent comments made by the IRB chairman, who confirmed that a pan European tournament remains the goal of the IRB. We are confident this can be achieved.

“Our focus now is to work collaboratively with our colleagues across Europe, encouraging all parties to come to the table in order to engage in and conclude negotiations as speedily as possible.”

The IRFU line was echoed by the Welsh and Scottish unions, who released almost identical statements of their own

The French Rugby Federation, meanwhile, has already said they will not support any new Anglo-French competition while the English union has yet to comment publicly on the matter.

Talks are not planned to resume until October 23rd, and ERC has appointed a mediator — Canadian lawyer Graeme Mew — in an attempt to bring all sides together.

But the English and French clubs are forging ahead with their own plans, having also extended an invitation to Celtic and Italian teams to join them.

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