Welsh clubs back Euro rebels

Wed, 23 Oct 2013 08:59
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It is now clear that there are a number of significant advantages to the new competitions

The four Welsh regions have thrown their support behind an Anglo-French push to revamp European club rugby next season.

Premiership and Top 14 clubs announced their intentions to form alternative competititions to the European Cup and Challenge Cup in June last year, and they have now been backed by the Welsh regions.

Scarlets, Ospreys, Cardiff Blues and Newport Gwent Dragons released a joint statement under unbrella body Regional Rugby Wales (RRW) which recognised the possible advantages of a new structure.

The English and French clubs have a problem with the way ERC - European rugby's governing body - has run their competitions, arguing that the current model favours Celtic and Italian clubs and is not commercially sound.

The latest twist in the ongoing saga has seen the Welsh clubs support calls for a restructuring, although the Welsh Rugby Union has declined to comment at this stage.

The RRW statement read: "Regional Rugby Wales on behalf of the four Welsh regions confirms its full support for the proposed new Rugby Champions Cup Competitions.

"Whilst there remain elements of detail to be confirmed, it is now clear that there are a number of significant advantages to the new competitions in equality of governance, format, qualification and distribution across the individual participating clubs.

"Consequently, RRW looks forward to working with the WRU to support their efforts and positive engagement in striving to ensure our teams are involved in strong, valuable European clubs competitions in time for next season," it concluded.