The recently proposed Rugby Club World Cup has received another major with the backing of the URC.
The Irish Independent have reported that the Chief Executive of the URC, Martin Anayi, has said the URC is fully behind the new tournament. Anayi also touched on the idea of involving the United States in the competition in the future.
The proposed tournament would feature the top eight sides from the Champions Cup pools and the top seven from Super Rugby, along with one extra club which would presumably be a Japanese side.
The 16 teams would be split into four pools, with the winner of each pool progressing to the semi-finals.
The competition would take place every four years, ahead of the British and Irish Lions Tour, and would replace the Champions Cup knockout stages, with the Gallagher Premiership also being condensed.
Rugby Club World Cup ?
The Gallagher Premiership has already given the Rugby Club World Cup its backing, while RFU Chief Executive, Bill Sweeney, has also given it a glowing endorsement.
“It just will heighten excitement and awareness around the game," said Sweeney earlier in the year. "Fans are looking for new formats, new things to talk about. This summer there was a lot of talk around the north-south rivalry, there was almost a Ryder Cup situation towards the end there, in terms of was it going to be 6-6 or would the north win all of those final matches on the final weekend.
“There seems to be more conversation around that and [the Club World Cup] just adds to that in terms of who has the best clubs in the world, the best club set-up, is it the north or the south. Seeing some of those club powerhouses compete against each other, the clubs look forward to that.”