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Saturday 22nd February 2020,
Hope for Nigeria

IRB supports unions in European Cup row

English clubs have pulled out of next season’s European Cup, unhappy with the way existing organisers European Rugby Cup (ERC) have run the event, both from a sporting and commercial viewpoint.

The Premiership clubs have invited the four Welsh regions, unhappy with the amount of money distributed to them by the Welsh Rugby Union, to join them in the proposed Rugby Champions Cup.

IRB boss Lapasset said the global governing body would do all it could to help broker an agreement.

“In order to reach an outcome that is in the best interests of rugby globally, the IRB will work actively with its unions towards the goal of achieving a unified and acceptable outcome for all stakeholders involved,” he said.

However, the Frenchman added: “In the interests of the global game, the IRB reaffirms that it will not support any cross-border competitions that are not approved by the unions of any participating clubs, rugby bodies and host countries in full accordance with IRB regulations and by-laws.”

There was a similar message from Rugby Football Union chairman and former England captain Bill Beaumont.

“The RFU has been consistent in its view that our primary focus should be to maintain a genuinely … European tournament so rugby can continue to thrive.

“For this to be achieved, all parties need to work collaboratively, so that everyone benefits, not least the players and supporters, who have done so much to make European rugby so memorable.

“Rest assured I am working closely with RFU CEO 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.”

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