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SBD Global/September 20, 2013/Events and Attractions
Int'l Rugby Board CEO Brett Gosper Against Plans For New Anglo-French Tournament
Published September 20, 2013
OPTIMISM ABOUNDS: The BBC reported Gosper insisted he remains "very hopeful and optimistic" a compromise can be reached. Leicester Tigers Chair Peter Tom said, "The most important thing is that whatever happens is for the benefit of the clubs and English rugby" (BBC, 9/18). In Sydney, Julian Guyer wrote a European Cup without English and French clubs would leave a tournament made up of the same sides that compete in the domestic Celtic League, "although there have been suggestions South African provincial teams could fill the gap caused by an Anglo-French breakaway." The Premiership's French equivalent, the Top 14, have long said that "they will not play in a European competition where no English clubs are involved" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 9/19).
LIONS BOSS CONFIDENT: In Edinburgh, David Ferguson wrote British and Irish Lions Tour Manager Andy Irvine "is confident that the warring factions in the Heineken Cup debate will come together and create a vibrant new competition to suit all nations." On the subject of the Heineken Cup debate, he said, "I am an optimist and I know that they still seem quite far apart, but the prize is so great that I can't believe for a minute that common sense won't prevail. I will be very surprised if they don't reach some form of agreement and we see a vibrant new Heineken Cup next season. It's a bit like pressing the nuclear button, isn't it? Everybody will lose if they don't manage to save it" (SCOTSMAN, 9/19).