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SBD Global/September 16, 2013/Events and Attractions
Rugby Players' Association Backs Heineken Cup Breakaway As Conflict Continues
Published September 16, 2013
BREAKAWAY PLANNED: In London, Paul Rees reported Premiership Rugby and the Ligue Nationale de Rugby said that "an Anglo-French tournament was being planned." Invitations "were issued for teams from the other four countries involved in the Heineken Cup to join in, but they were turned down by the unions involved at a board meeting of the tournament organisers." Former RFU Chair Martyn Thomas said, "The English clubs have a contractual obligation to play in the Heineken Cup next season and the RFU can enforce it" (GUARDIAN, 9/13). The BBC reported "the current two European competitions, the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup, involve teams from England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, Wales, Portugal and Romania." However, the English and French "argue their qualification criteria are much tougher and put them at a disadvantage in the competitions." They "served notice to quit the tournament in 2012," however, Thomas does not believe their proposed alternative can get off the ground. He said, "It's grandstanding" (BBC, 9/13).