It has emerged that the major powers of European rugby are on the verge of a securing a deal to establish a new six-country club competition next season. Representatives of the six national unions, along with the English and French clubs and the Welsh regions, met in Paris this morning for crucial talks organised by the Six Nations organisation. A statement released afterwards read simply:
“A positive meeting took place in Paris today between the Six Nations Unions and club representatives from LNR (French Top 14), PRL (English Premiership) and RRW (Welsh).
“The meeting was constructive and progress was made, with all parties working towards a European competition."
It strongly suggests that the English and French clubs are back on board with the European project after announcing their decision to quit the Heineken Cup after the current season. They now seem likely to give their support to a new 20-team European competition administered by the Six Nations organisation, rather than ERC. Should the English and French return to the fold, plans for an Anglo-Welsh League will be scrapped, leaving the Welsh teams in the Pro12.
Revenue from the new European tournament will likely be divided equally between between the Aviva Premiership, the Top 14 and the Pro12. There will be six places each for the English and French clubs, with one additional spot between them - does that mean there will be an Anglo-French post-season play-off?
There would also be seven qualifiers from the Pro12, one for the top team from each competing country, with the rest based on final league position.
H/T: Wales Online