Euro tussle set for extra time

Tue, 18 Sep 2012 19:15
Large heineken cup trophy2 630

Negotiations over a new deal for the European Cup and Challenge competitions from the 2014/15 season will continue next month after "productive discussions" on Tuesday.

Negotiations over a new deal for the European Cup and Challenge competitions from the 2014/15 season will continue next month after "productive discussions" on Tuesday.

The English and French teams believe the European Cup's current format is weighted in favour of the Celtic nations, with Irish provinces Leinster and Munster having won five of the last seven editions between them.

Leinster have won three of the last four European Cups and their rivals in England and France claim that is partly a result of a qualification system that allows them to rest their players during the Celtic League season.

The English and French sides believe no more than six Celtic League teams should qualify, although that would put at risk the involvement of Scottish and Italian sides who currently qualify automatically.

"The meeting included productive discussions regarding the future of the club game in Europe with a general resolve among all stakeholders to reach agreement towards a new accord," tournament organisers European Rugby Cup announced on Tuesday.

"It was decided that all parties would continue the consultative process at a meeting in Rome on 8 October 2012."

The stakeholders in ERC are the respective national league authorities and federations from the Six Nations playing countries.

Tuesday's meeting came in the wake of an announcement last week by England's Premiership Rugby of a TV deal with BT Vision worth £152 million ($245 million) over four years from next season.

However, continental rugby chiefs say a clause granting BT exclusive live broadcast rights to matches played by Premiership clubs in any future European competitions from 2014-15 for three years is invalid.

In a statement issued following a board meeting at its Dublin headquarters last Wednesday, ERC said the "purported deal" was in breach both of International Rugby Board (IRB) regulations and an ERC board mandate.

The statement said it was "unanimously agreed" at an ERC board meeting on June 6 that ERC would conclude a new four-year agreement with satellite broadcaster Sky Sports for the UK and Ireland exclusive live broadcast rights to the European Cup and the European Challenge Cup until 2018.

However, following that ERC statement BT's executive director Mark Watson said that he was willing to create a new European competition when the present deal with ERC ends at the climax of the 2013-14 season.


There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 28 October 2016
Ulster v Munster 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Glasgow Warriors v Treviso 18h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Scarlets 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Edinburgh v Zebre 18h35 BT Murrayfield
Northampton Saints v Gloucester 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 29 October 2016
Harlequins v Worcester Warriors 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 14h00 Allianz Park
Ospreys v Dragons 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Leinster v Connacht 16h15 RDS Arena
Sun, 30 October 2016
Wasps v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Bristol v Sale Sharks 15h00 Ashton Gate
Exeter Chiefs v Bath 15h00 Sandy Park
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 1 1 0 0 5
Glasgow Warriors 2 1 0 1 5
Leicester Tigers 2 1 0 1 4
Racing Metro 1 0 0 1 0
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Connacht 2 2 0 0 9
Wasps 2 1 1 0 7
Toulouse 2 0 1 1 3
Zebre 1 0 0 1 0
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 2 2 0 0 9
Toulon 2 1 0 1 4
Scarlets 2 1 0 1 4
Sale Sharks 2 0 0 2 0
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 2 1 0 1 6
Castres 2 1 0 1 5
Montpellier 2 1 0 1 5
Northampton Saints 2 1 0 1 4
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 2 2 0 0 10
Bordeaux 2 1 0 1 5
Ulster 2 1 0 1 4
Exeter Chiefs 2 0 0 2 1