Leinster ponder joining breakaway European Cup
September 16, 2013
Leinster have experienced more success than most in the Heineken Cup © Getty Images
Leinster chief executive Mick Dawson has said the province could join the proposed breakaway European tournament if no compromise can be found over the future of the Heineken Cup.
Premiership Rugby (PRL) last week declared it had opted to form a breakaway European tournament with its French counterparts Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR). Both bodies served their respective notices to European Rugby Cup Ltd - the organisation in charge of the Heineken Cup - saying they would leave the premier European tournament at the end of the season if certain aspects of the competition were not changed.
Both PRL and LNR hold misgivings over the distribution of revenue and votes and the qualification process. ERC is still adamant that all six Unions involved in the Heineken Cup are still singing off the same hymn sheet but PRL and LNR have since reiterated that they see their respective futures away from the Heineken Cup.
PRL and LNR are pushing for a club-run tournament and the former's CEO Mark McCafferty has said clubs from the other Unions are welcome to join, but must declare their interest within the next four to six weeks. If the Heineken Cup ceases to exist then teams from the RaboDirect PRO12 will be without a European tournament next season and you expect the majority would be keen to join the breakaway Cup.
And Leinster, a team who have won three Heineken Cup titles since 2009, have admitted they will look into the possibility of linking up with the Anglo-French Cup. Their CEO Mick Dawson told the Sunday Times: "I hope there is a resolution but if everything goes pear-shaped we'd genuinely have to consider how to get into it."
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