EPCR in talks over rugby Club World Cup

Tanya Simon
April 8, 2020

The competition, which is being proposed by the president of the French Rugby Union, Bernard Laporte, would see a 20-team club competition created which would involve teams from both the northern and southern hemisphere.

The current circumstances however, with the Covid-19 pandemic having shut down football around the planet, means nobody can predict what will happen with the Club World Cup, only six months before it is due to start.

Under Laporte's proposal, six teams would qualify from Super Rugby, four teams each from England, France and the Pro14 competitions. Two teams would progress to quarter-finals, before a semi-final and grand final.

Organisers of both significant European rugby union club events, the Heineken Champions Cup as well as Challenge Cup, claim discussions have actually now happened in between investors for a competitors to match both as well as occur when every 4 years.

"EPCR has noted today's media reports regarding a proposal for an annual Club World Cup", an EPCR statement read. Without the Champions Cup, there are nine weekends freed up. I am sure that the public and television will follow.

Laporte, 56, coached the French national team between 1999 and 2007 and is also the former French Secretary of State for Sport.

'The European Cup is magnificent, I was able to lift the trophy three times with Toulon and I know what it can represent, ' Laporte told Midi Olympique.

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'But I am sure of one thing: we must create this competition and very quickly.

A statement admitted 'work on possible formats is ongoing with a collaborative approach and issues of player welfare to the fore.

Argentina's World Rugby vice-chairman, Agustin Pichot, is expected to run against Beaumont for the top job.

'All are excited by such a project, ' Laporte said.

The Club World Cup proposal comes amid recent debate over the future makeup of the global rugby union calendar.

They also don't believe World Rugby should have control over a "club" competition.

"Let's be frank: it (the Champions Cup) does not generate enough income", Laporte told French rugby newspaper Midi Olympique.

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