Italians delay European announcement
March 27, 2014
Leinster and Northampton will both feature in the new-look European tournament next season © Getty Images
An announcement over the future of European rugby which was due to be made on Wednesday was delayed because the Italian board wanted more time to discuss the details.
The six unions that play in the Heineken Cup met in Dublin on Tuesday to thrash out the finer details of a new re-jigged tournament ahead of next season, a compromise that looks set to end two years of discussion over the future of the domestic game in Europe.
The IRF's concern revolves is that it may be worse off financially under the new deal. Earlier in the year it threatened to withdraw from the Pro12 as it was not prepared to continue paying around €3 million to play in the competition.
Reports at the weekend suggest the new tournament will consist of 20 teams with six qualifying from the Top 14 and the Aviva Premiership alongside seven from the RaboDirect PRO12 with the last place going to the winner of a play-off between the seventh-placed side in the French league and the English top flight.
Underneath the top-tier tournament will be a second-tier competition made up of the other teams from the three leagues. There will also be a third-tier for clubs from countries including Georgia, Romania, Russia, Spain, Portugal and Belgium, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The broadcast rights for the new competitions, which remaining the last major stumbling block, has also been revolved with Sky Sports and BT Sport reaching a compromise whereby the rights are shared between the,.
The current administrative board in charge of the Heineken Cup, European Rugby Cup Ltd, is based in Dublin, the new tournament will be run by a company in Switzerland.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Liverpool have recorded an annual profit for the first time in seven years
Wales captain Sam Warburton is expected to be fit for the vital Six Nations clash with Ireland on March 14
Sunderland have suspended midfielder Adam Johnson pending the outcome of a police investigation, the club announced on Monday
Padraig Harrington won his first PGA Tour event since the 2008 US PGA Championship with a play-off victory over Daniel Berger at the Honda Classic
France scrum-half Morgan Parra will miss the rest of the Six Nations after suffering cruciate knee ligament damage during the first half of Saturday's defeat to Wales in Paris
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery
John Terry was visibly emotional during the national anthem in Sunday's League Cup final, but don't get your hopes up - he's not coming back to the England team
The winter is always a time of speculation, but this year the F1 circus will pack its bags for Melbourne with more uncertainty than usual
How many golfers have shot an albatross at the British Open?
John Griffiths takes an analytical look at Week 3 of ESPN Scrum's Fantasy Rugby game - who should you have picked?
Tyson Fury moved closer to a shot at Wladimir Klitschko's WBO title with Christian Hammer's corner throwing in the towel after the eighth round at the O2 Arena
Sir Bobby Charlton thinks Louis van Gaal was "surprised by the enormity" of Manchester United when he took over as manager last summer
Chris Eubank Jr has called for a rematch with Billy Joe Saunders after stopping Dmitry Chudinov to claim the WBA 'interim' middleweight title at the O2 Arena in London
Brendan Rodgers hailed Philippe Coutinho as "a joy to watch" after the midfielder scored a spectacular winner against Manchester City and claimed it is "frightening" to think what the Brazilian could be worth
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says Daniel Sturridge's fitness must be managed properly so that the striker "doesn't break"
Former Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher marked his return to football punditry by coining a new name for Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers
We rewind to 2003 when Real Madrid brought a park attitude to their Champions League clash with Manchester United and played out a 4-3 thriller
The tale of the Jamaica bobsled team who triumphed against the odds at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics is embedded in pop culture more than 25 years on, writes Nick Atkin
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner
In the latest edition of ESPN's Week in Words, Olivier Giroud gets emotional, Dimitar Berbatov is a bit smug, Arsene Wenger is hurting and Rory McIlroy is "p***** off"