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."

AFP

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 19h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 6 6 0 0 28
Ulster 6 4 0 2 18
Oyonnax 6 1 0 5 7
Toulouse 6 1 0 5 5
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 16
Bordeaux 6 3 0 3 16
Ospreys 6 3 0 3 16
Clermont Auvergne 6 3 0 3 15
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Racing Metro 6 4 1 1 22
Northampton Saints 6 4 1 1 19
Glasgow Warriors 6 3 0 3 14
Scarlets 6 0 0 6 2
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leicester Tigers 6 5 0 1 23
Stade Francais 6 4 0 2 19
Munster 6 3 0 3 15
Treviso 6 0 0 6 0
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 6 4 0 2 20
Toulon 6 5 0 1 20
Bath 6 2 0 4 10
Leinster 6 1 0 5 6