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Dublin: 19 °C Wednesday 15 July, 2020

Welsh regions vow their support for Rugby Champions Cup

In a major breakthrough for the English and French clubs, the Welsh regions say they are behind the new tournament.

Will there be anyone celebrating the Heineken Cup next season?
Will there be anyone celebrating the Heineken Cup next season?
Image: Peter Morrison/AP/Press Association Images

IN A STATEMENT released by the its regional sides, Welsh rugby has vowed its full support for the proposed new Rugby Champions Cup.

The move will come as a major blow to the Irish, Scottish and Italian clubs who had hoped the Welsh sides would remain unified with them in opposition to the English and French plans to breakaway from the Heineken Cup and form their own competition.

This bombshell comes the day before a scheduled meeting of the ERC, which the English and French clubs had already signaled would not find them in attendance. With the Welsh now on board, the likelihood of the Rugby Champions Cup going ahead next season is hugely increased.

The Regional Rugby Wales (RRW) statement on the websites of the Ospreys and the Scarlets this evening reads:

“Regional Rugby Wales (RRW) 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.”

Last week’s statement from Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal that his side would be playing in the Heineken Cup next season had provided hope for those who wish to see the current European tournament continuing, but this revelation from the Welsh regions has completely turned the tide once again.

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Murray Kinsella

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