ESPN SCRUM

/ News

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 - Australian GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Boxing - Frampton v Avalos
    Boxing - Fury v Hammer
    Boxing - Eubank v Chudinov
    Golf - Joburg Open
    Golf - Honda Classic
    Tennis - Dubai Championships
    Tennis - Mexican Open
  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • Rugby

    Reds pleased with O'Connor's first outing

    James O'Connor's impressive Queensland Reds debut was just a taste of what is to come from the rejuvenated former Wallaby, coach Richard Graham says

  • Golf

    'P***** off' McIlroy set to miss Honda Classic cut

    Rory McIlroy's 2015 US debut ended quickly at the Honda Classic, where he was projected to miss the cut on Friday after shooting rounds of 73-74 at PGA National

  • Rugby

    Cheetahs inflict further pain on winless Blues

    The Blues have made their worst start to a Super Rugby season after conceding a controversial late penalty to lose 25-24 to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein

  • Tennis

    Azarenka rallies to beat Venus and reach Qatar final

    Victoria Azarenka reached the final of the Qatar Open on Friday after recovering from one set down to beat Venus Williams

  • Rugby

    Saints move 13 points clear at the top

    Champions Northampton moved 13 points clear at the top of the Aviva Premiership with a victory which surely ends Harlequins' hopes of reaching the top four

  • News
  • Features
Sponsored Links
Make Huge Income from your Home
Download your Free Guide And Learn How To Increase Your Monthly Income
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!