Dallaglio: Solve this mess

Wed, 18 Sep 2013 09:05
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Two-time European Cup-winner Lawrence Dallaglio has urged governing bodies to preserve the competition or risk the Southern Hemisphere continuing to dominate the World Cup.

Two-time European Cup-winner Lawrence Dallaglio has urged governing bodies to preserve the competition or risk the Southern Hemisphere continuing to dominate the World Cup.

The future of the European Cup tournament is up in the air after English and French clubs gave notice to leave at the end of the season after a fractious series of negotiations.

An Anglo-French Cup is a possibility, but Dallaglio, who won the tournament in 2004 and 2007 with Wasps, believes that would play into the hands of New Zealand, South Africa and Australia.

The only time the World Cup has landed in the Northern Hemisphere in seven tournaments was when Dallaglio's England side, led by Martin Johnson, won it in 2003 in Australia.

And the former No.8 says the European Cup must pit the best against the best or it will damage prospects of the Webb Ellis Trophy staying north of the equator when England host the World Cup in 2015.

"My view is very simple," Dallaglio told reporters at an event to mark the beginning of a two-year countdown to the global tournament.

"Given that all but one of every World Cup has been won by the Southern Hemisphere, those responsible for organising the best tournaments in this part of the world have got a duty and obligation and a responsibility to make sure the best players are playing against the very best players on the biggest stage of all - especially in the build-up to a Rugby World Cup.

"As a former player, the players need and want to be having the best competitions in this part of the world for the players to play in.

"That is what the various unions and umbrella organisations that sit around the table have got the responsibility to do.

"I would be enormously disappointed if I was not playing in the best competition of all, having played in that competition many times before.

"It is a wonderful competition and it gives us an edge that every country in Europe would be foolish to under-estimate.

"We have all got the same interests at heart because Ireland, Scotland, France, Wales and Italy all need a successful World Cup as well. It is in our best interests that we all play each other."

ERC, who currently run the European and Challenge Cups, have invited all interested parties to another meeting in Dublin on October 23.

Meanwhile, English club owners were due to meet on Wednesday to clarify their stance in the ongoing saga - which mainly involves money and qualification issues - and the Rugby Football Union are keen to find a resolution.

Ian Ritchie, chief executive of the RFU, said: "It is important for the game as a whole - English rugby and European rugby - that we get these negotiations settled. They have got to be dealt with as a matter of urgency.

"We want to see a meritocratic competition in Europe, not only in terms of the competitive element, but in terms of the financial distribution, and obviously our clubs are very keen on that."


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Fri, 16 October 2015
Blue Bulls v Western Province 17h10 Pretoria
Connacht v Zebre 18h30 Sportsground
Glasgow Warriors v Dragons 18h35 Scotstoun
Scarlets v Leinster 18h35 Parc y Scarlets
Worcester Warriors v Northampton Saints 18h45 Sixways
Edinburgh v Ulster 18h45 BT Murrayfield
Harlequins v Wasps 18h45 Twickenham Stoop
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 17 October 2015
Munster v Cardiff Blues 12h30 Irish Independent Park
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 13h00 Recreation Ground
Saracens v Sale Sharks 13h00 Allianz Park
Treviso v Ospreys 13h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
South Africa v Wales 15h00 Twickenham
Golden Lions v Free State Cheetahs 15h05 Johannesburg
New Zealand v France 19h00 Millennium Stadium
Sun, 18 October 2015
Ireland v Argentina 12h00 Millennium Stadium
London Irish v Leicester Tigers 14h15 Madejski Stadium
Australia v Scotland 15h00 Twickenham
Sun, 11 October 2015
United States v Japan 18 | 28
France v Ireland 9 | 24
Italy v Romania 32 | 22
Argentina v Namibia 64 | 19
Sat, 10 October 2015
England v Uruguay 60 | 3
Australia v Wales 15 | 6
Golden Lions v Griquas 29 | 19
Samoa v Scotland 33 | 36
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 34 | 34
Fri, 09 October 2015
New Zealand v Tonga 47 | 9
Western Province v EP Kings 45 | 14
Pumas v Blue Bulls 24 | 25
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 22
Saracens 6 4 0 2 17
Munster 6 3 0 3 15
Sale Sharks 5 0 0 5 2
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 4 1 1 20
Wasps 6 3 1 2 18
Harlequins 6 4 0 2 18
Castres 6 0 0 6 1
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Toulon 6 5 0 1 22
Leicester Tigers 6 3 0 3 13
Ulster 6 2 0 4 12
Scarlets 6 2 0 4 8
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Bath 6 4 0 2 19
Toulouse 6 4 0 2 17
Glasgow Warriors 6 3 0 3 15
Montpellier 6 1 0 5 6
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Racing Metro 6 5 1 0 24
Northampton Saints 6 4 0 2 19
Ospreys 6 1 1 4 9
Treviso 6 1 0 5 4