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ERC staff called in to run first ever Rugby Champions Cup

Employees of the organisation that administered the Heineken Cup will be parachuted in to organise the new competition.

Simon Shaw and Scott Quinnell at last month's pool draws.
Simon Shaw and Scott Quinnell at last month's pool draws.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

ERC STAFF HAVE been called in to run the inaugural European Rugby Champions Cup, despite the organisation having been condemned to the scrap heap with the advent of the new EPCR (European Professional Club Rugby).

As first reported by The Daily Telegraph, ERC officials will now work on the new European competition for the 2014/15 season, an ironic twist in this tale.

The ERC successfully ran the Heineken Cup for 20 years, before the bitter civil war in European rugby over the past two years ended with orders being made for them to be wound-up and the Rugby Champions Cup being formed under the EPCR body.

EPCR will head quarter itself in Neuchatel, Switzerland – therefore not in one of the Six Nations countries – but the new organisation has not yet appointed its own staff after being formed as recently as April.

The result is that employees of the ERC are set to be parachuted in to organise and administer the new European competition from next season. ERC employees also helped in the running of last month’s pool draws for the Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.

It has been widely expected that the previously Dublin-based ERC staff were always likely to get first refusal on positions within the EPRC, but many still remain uncertain of whether or not they will be offered permanent, long-term roles in the new umbrella body.

Given the insistence of figures within Premiership Rugby that the ERC had come to the end of its life cycle, there is irony in their coming to the rescue to ensure that the Rugby Champions Cup can go ahead smoothly in its first season.

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