Talks on hold over new European rugby tournament

Work on European club rugby’s new elite tournament will be put on hold over the weekend and resume on Monday.

Picture: Jane Barlow
Picture: Jane Barlow

The replacement for the Heineken Cup was expected to be unveiled this week, but it is understood that administrative elements of the agreement have yet to be finalised.

Once the paperwork is complete an announcement will be made, with Monday the earliest possible opportunity. A further delay could be caused by the rugby calendar, however, with the Heineken Cup quarter-finals scheduled for next weekend. European rugby chiefs may decide to hold any announcement until the first knockout round is over.

The new 20-team format will comprise six Aviva Premiership teams, six from France’s Top 14 competition and seven from the RaboDirect Pro12. The final place would be decided after a play-off between the seventh-placed finishers in England and France.