Next LIVE rugby on TV
to be announced
Wed, 31 Jul 2013 14:30:05 +0000
  • Switch Edition
ESPN SCRUM / Wales / News
WRU will not allow regions to join Champions Cup
ESPN Staff
January 4, 2014
The Cardiff Blues beat Toulon this year in the Heineken Cup, but Peter Thomas wants them in the Champions Cup © Getty Images

A day after the Welsh Rugby Union said it would hand the regions a revised Participation Agreement, it has become abundantly clear it will not bow down to the Regional Rugby Wales' (RRW) wish to see the four regions play in the Rugby Champions Cup next term.

The WRU and RRW - the body heading up the four Welsh regions - failed to agree on a new agreement by the December 31 deadline. After thinly veiled threats in statements released by both parties, the WRU met on Thursday and said it would hand the regions a new re-drafted agreement.

The RRW is keen to see its sides in the Champions Cup next term but the WRU has always backed European Rugby Cup Ltd, the body in charge of the Heineken Cup, and is adamant Welsh teams will continue to play in that tournament.

In a letter sent to all 320 of its members clubs, the WRU outlined its standpoint in the current dispute over the course of 50 bullet points. Regarding just where it sees the regions playing their domestic rugby, it said: "The suggested engagements with an Anglo-Welsh league or a non sanctioned European tournament are not viable in the best interests of Welsh rugby or the game across Europe.

"Remember we, as a Union, are contracted to the existing European Cup and the Pro 12 league. We believe these competitions are in the best interests of rugby and the WRU will not countenance leaving Scotland, Ireland and Italy isolated from meaningful tournaments."

It remains to be seen what the regions make of the WRU's move to address the dispute in this manner, but on Friday, Cardiff Blues chairman Peter Thomas told Wales Online he wanted his region to be in the breakaway Champions Cup next season.

"We have an opportunity to play in a lucrative new cup competition, while staying within the WRU and remaining in the Pro12," Thomas said. "If we can't do that with the support and blessing of our governing body, then we will have to look at alternative options.

"If it means going into another carriage, we will do that to save ourselves. The Union have until the end of this month to make their mind up. If they say no, then so be it.

"Plan A is the Rugby Champions Cup. But people would be foolish to think there is not a Plan B. We need to play in a meaningful, financially viable competition."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - United States GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Tennis - Swiss Indoors
    Tennis - Valencia Open
    Tennis - WTA World Tour Finals
    Golf - Perth International
    Golf - McGadrey Classic
    Darts - European Championship
    Boxing - Zolani Tete v Paul Butler
    UFC 179
  • Rugby

    Toulouse edge past Bath

    Toulouse beat a spirited Bath side 21-19 at the Recreation Ground on Saturday

  • Rugby

    Glasgow grind out win in Montpellier

    Gregor Townsend and his Glasgow Warriors took a giant leap towards the Champions Cup quarter-finals with a 15-13 triumph at his former club Montpellier

  • Rugby

    North's four downs Ospreys

    George North's quartet of tries reinvigorated Northampton's European campaign, but the 34-6 victory over the Ospreys came at a cost with England centre Luther Burrell departing early through injury

  • Football

    Leeds sack Milanic after just six games

    Leeds' managerial circus returned on Saturday evening as owner Massimo Cellino parted company with Darko Milanic after just 32 days in charge

  • Tennis

    Federer to meet Goffin in Basel showdown

    Top-seeded Roger Federer beat big-serving Ivo Karlovic 7-6(8) 3-6 6-3 to reach a ninth consecutive Swiss Indoors final and his 11th overall in his hometown of Basel

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!