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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 3 March 2021

English clubs confirm split from Heineken Cup after this season

Premiership Rugby stakeholders met today to discuss their future in ERC competitions.

English clubs have re-iterated they will not be playing in ERC competitions from next season.
English clubs have re-iterated they will not be playing in ERC competitions from next season.

PREMIERSHIP RUGBY CLUBS today voted unanimously to re-confirm they will not participate in any competitions run by the ERC from 2014.

In a statement issued this evening, the clubs stated:

“[We] have worked exhaustively over the last 18 months to propose solutions to the issues with the current European competitions and to provide a sustainable platform to grow the game in the various countries.

“[We] are now pursuing other options.”

Today’s meeting came after French clubs voted last week to remain under the ERC umbrella for next season and look for reform beginning in 2014. The move meant that Premiership clubs found themselves without their main ally for the breakaway Rugby Champions Cup.

Ligue National de Rugby, which represents France’s Top 14 clubs, said at the time:

“French clubs can get involved in competitions run by the ERC (in 2014-15) on condition that all the deals are signed and that the competition will be staged with clubs from England”.

However, while the ERC have continued to leave door open for English clubs to backtrack, today’s statement — in which the clubs state that the ‘ERC does not recognise the role of leagues and clubs in driving the success of competitions’ such as the Heineken Cup — means they may now pursue alternative tournaments such as an intercontinental competition with teams from South Africa.

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Steve O'Rourke

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