Next LIVE rugby on TV
to be announced
Wed, 31 Jul 2013 14:30:05 +0000
  • Switch Edition
ESPN SCRUM / News
Follow@ESPNSCRUM
European competitions
IRB lays down the law over breakaway
ESPN Staff
January 8, 2014
IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset declares the 2011 Rugby World Cup open, World Cup opening ceremony, Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand, September 9, 2011
Bernard Lapasset; unambiguous position © Getty Images
Enlarge

The IRB is finding itself reluctantly dragged into the ongoing saga over the future of European rugby with Bernard Lapasset, the board's chairman, making clear that it would not support any cross-border competitions not backed by the boards of the clubs concerned.

Lapasset's comments seem a clear warning to the Welsh regions who at loggerheads with the WRU and who have been involved in discussions about joining an expanded Aviva Premiership. His views seemingly empower the Welsh board to take a harder-line stance against the four regions.

The IRB position is not new but the timing of Lapasset's remarks will be seen as a clear warning to the regions that any breakaway in conflict with the board will not be tolerated.

As far as Europe is concerned, an IRB statement said it "strongly believes that the establishment of a truly representative pan-European rugby competition that fully complies with IRB regulations and bye-laws is in the best interests of the global game.

"The IRB acknowledges and supports the commitment of the six nations member unions in their ongoing attempts to reach an accord for a genuine European competition that has Europe's top players and fans at heart.

"However, despite progress on key terms for the future of European competition, the apparent lack of a common solution across the six nations unions and their respective clubs, regions and provinces is of concern to the IRB.

RFU chairman Bill Beaumont welcomed the intervention. "Our primary focus should be to maintain a genuinely pan-European tournament. Rest assured I am working closely with RFU chief executive officer Ian Ritchie and other stakeholders to find a solution. I welcome the support of the IRB in helping to ensure that this happens and, of course, as a member union abide by and support the IRB regulations."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - Italian GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Athletics - Diamond League, Zurich
    Cycling - Tour of Spain
    Darts - World Series
    Golf - Italian Open
    Rowing - World Championships
    Tennis - US Open
    Triathlon - World Series Grand Final
  • Football

    Zaha will be my first signing - Warnock

    Wilfried Zaha is set to re-join Crystal Palace on loan after failing to impress Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal

  • Football

    Platini will not stand against Blatter

    Michel Platini has announced he will not stand against Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency and will instead run for re-election as UEFA president

  • Rugby

    Calls to abolish scrums and tackles at school level

    A health expert has called for rugby to be more closely regulated in schools and for scrums and tackles to be removed from the game at that level

  • Football

    Rooney calls for fans' backing

    Wayne Rooney has pleaded with England fans to back him after Roy Hodgson named him as Steven Gerrard's replacement as the international side's captain

  • Football

    Bayern agree deal for Alonso

    Bayern Munich have confirmed they have agreed a deal with Xabi Alonso over the Real Madrid midfielder's proposed move to the Bundesliga champions

Sponsored Links
Make $170 in 60 seconds!
Google Vs Facebook, 60 sec. knock out! Choose a champion, Become a Winner!
Make $25 in 1 Minute!
Start trading with the biggest broker! Register now to receive $25 for FREE!